BOLU – Doğan News Agency
A nurse who was diagnosed with Crimean-Congo fever without being bitten by a tick died at the Ankara Numune Hospital yesterday, and could possibly be the first instance of human-to-human passing of the infection in Turkey. Reports said it is not yet known how Arzu Ögren, 27, contracted the disease and officials are investigating the matter.
Ögren who worked at the orthopedics department in a state hospital in the western province of Bolu was diagnosed with the disease six days ago and was later transferred to the Ankara hospital.
It was reported that the nurse also worked at the infectious diseases department at one time.
The chief surgeon of Bolu hospital, Dr. Hüseyin İka, said they were looking into how the infection could have occurred.
The deadly disease is usually associated with tick bites and Ögen's case may be the first case of human-to-human infection in Turkey. A total of 41 people have died in Turkey from the disease this year alone.
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever mainly affects animals. Ticks, which live on sheep and cattle, can sometimes pass the virus onto people. It is an Ebola-like fever where patients can bleed to death if they are not treated quickly. Those infected can transmit the virus through their blood or saliva. The disease is endemic in parts of Africa, Asia and Europe.