Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever among children in north-eastern Turkey

Ann Trop Paediatr. 2009 Mar;29(1):23-8. doi: 10.1179/146532809X401999.


Aim: To analyse the epidemiological and clinical features of children with Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) in north-eastern Turkey.

Methods: A retrospective study of demographic features and physical and laboratory findings in 21 children with CCHF is described. Clinical course, treatment modalities and outcome were analysed.

Results: Most patients were admitted in June and July 2008; most were from the Gumushane and Kelkit valleys and half of them lived in rural areas. Mean (SD) age was 10.3 (3.9) years and the disease was more common in males (71.4%). Approximately 70% had a history of tick bite. The main symptoms were fever (17, 80.9%), nausea (11, 52.3%), malaise (10, 47.6%) and headache (7, 33.3%). At initial examination, approximately 70% of patients had leukopenia and 65% had thrombocytopenia. Anaemia developed during follow-up in six patients. Liver involvement was seen in 12 patients and one patient had acute tubular necrosis. Six patients had haemophagocytosis. Patients were hospitalised for a median 8 days (range 3-22) and nine patients had bleeding from various sites approximately 3-5 days after hospitalisation. Subcutaneous haematoma (6), especially epistaxis and at venepuncture sites (6) were the most common sites of bleeding. Pulmonary haemorrhage developed in two patients and they required ventilatory support. Overall mortality related to CCHF was 4.7% (one patient).

Conclusion: Early diagnosis of CCHF and early referral to specialised centres are important for outcome. Exceptional epidemics may be seen in future owing to ecological and environmental changes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Crimean / complications
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Crimean / diagnosis
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Crimean / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rural Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Turkey / epidemiology