Objectives Crimean–Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a viral tick-borne disease that is caused by CCHF virus. The virus belongs to the Nairovirus genus, Bunyaviridae family, and is transmitted to humans by infected tick bite, handling of infected blood or tissues or nosocomially. The CCHF manifests with fever, myalgia, nausea, haemorrhages and in severe cases leads to coma and finally death.
Methods Iranian CCHF probable children’s sera were collected from 2000 to 2008 (up to 9 February). They were analysed by specific ELISA and RT–PCR assays.
Results From June 2000 to 9 February 2008, sera were collected from 107 CCHF probable children between 2 months to 14 years old. Among these cases, 19 were IgM positive and four cases were only RT–PCR positive. The number of probable, confirmed cases according to the year are, respectively, 2000 (10, 1), 2001 (22, 5), 2002 (18, 5), 2003 (18, 5), 2004 (7, 1), 2005 (5, 0), 2006 (10, 2), 2007 (8, 3) and up to 9 February 2008 (9, 1). Among 23 confirmed cases, 14 were boys and nine were girls. This study demonstrated that the most infected province was Sistan-Balouchestan (with 65.2% of confirmed cases) and others, respectively, included Fars, Khuzestan, Tehran (with 8.7% of confirmed cases) and Golestan and Hormozgan (with 4.35% of confirmed cases). 36.4% of confirmed cases had a history of contact with the blood or the tissue of infected livestock.
Conclusions The most infected province is Sistan-Balouchestan in the southeast of Iran bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan where CCHF is endemic. Therefore, importantly, Iranian children resident in these infected provinces are much more exposed to CCHF and it seems that with a continuous training programme for these children and informing parents regarding transmission routes, the incidence of CCHF in these age groups in the endemic regions will be decreased.