Evaluation of epidemiological, clinical, and laboratory characteristics and mortality rate of patients with Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever in the northeast region of Turkey
BİNAY, Umut Devrim
KESİK, Ozan Arif
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ackground & objectives : Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), an illness characterized by fever and hemorrhage, is caused by a CCHF virus (CCHFV). It is an important public health problem in Turkey. The objective of this study was to evaluate the demographic, clinical, and laboratory characteristics and mortality rates of CCHF patients in the northeast region of Turkey. Methods : A total of 206 patients, diagnosed with CCHF, from northeast region of Turkey were included and evaluated between 2011 and 2017. Real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunofluorescence (IFA) methods were used for the diagnoses. Results : Of the patients included in the study, 77.2% were farmers/livestockers, while 22.8% had other occupations. The incidence of tick bite or tick contact with bare hands was 52.9%. About 94.2% of the patients were living in rural areas and 5.8% in city centers. However, all the patients living in city centers had a history of visit to rural areas. The disease was more common in May, June, and July months. The most common symptoms at the time of admission included fatigue, fever, and widespread body pain, while laboratory findings were thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, and anemia. Bleeding, tachycardia, and rash were the most common findings on physical examination. Of all the patients, 95.6% were identified by RT-PCR and 4.4% by IFA methods. Severe cases constituted 22.3% (46) of the included patients. Throughout the course of this study, 7 (3.4%) patients died, and the remaining 96.6% (199) patients were discharged with a full recovery. Disease severity was significantly correlated with mortality rate and duration of hospitalization (p <0.001 and p = 0.013). Interpretation & conclusion : In this study, the mortality rate observed was lower than that reported in the literature because of accessibility of early supportive therapy. It would be beneficial in CCHF treatment to recognize the disease at an early stage, begin supportive treatment quickly, and educate the people living in high-risk areas as well as health care personnel working in these areas.
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