About 40 cases of viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) have been reported in Iraq, including eight deaths, since the first case was detected in Dhi Qar last month, according to statement from the Iraqi Ministry of Health.
The ministry's spokesman Sayf al-Badr stated that 23 infections and five deaths were registered in Iraq's southern province of Dhi Qar, while the latest death was reported in the northern province of Kirkuk earlier Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.
Viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) are a group of diseases caused by several distinct families of viruses, which affects multiple organ systems in the body and reduces their ability to function on their own. Symptoms of VHFs vary by disease but often include fever and hemorrhage, or bleeding.
Fatigue, dizziness, muscle, bone or joint aches, nausea and vomiting and diarrhea are other early signs and symptoms of this condition.
In more severe cases, one may experience bleeding under the skin, in internal organs, or from the mouth, eyes or ears; nervous system malfunction; coma; delirium; kidney failure; respiratory and liver failure.
If you have these signs and symptoms, see a doctor, preferably one trained in international medicine or infectious diseases.
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How are VHF viruses spread to people?
The viruses that cause viral hemorrhagic fevers are known to live in a variety of animal and insect hosts, most commonly mosquitoes, ticks, rodents or bats.
According to health experts, these viruses can spread to people when they come in contact with infected animals or insects (blood, saliva, semen, feces or urine). Some VHFs are spread by mosquito or tick bites.
Then person-to-person transmission of some VHFs can continue mainly through direct contact or in healthcare facilities.
According to Mayo Clinic, it can take from two to 21 days for symptoms to develop after getting infected, depending on the type of virus.