Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever among health care workers in Iran: A seroprevalence study in two endemic regions
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) has repeatedly caused nosocomial outbreaks among hospital staff. In the summer of 2003, we studied the seroprevalence of anti-CCHF IgG among health care workers who had come in contact with Crimean-Conuo hemorrhagic fever patients from three referral hospitals in endemic regions of Iran. A total of 223 eligible staff were examined. Whereas 5 of 129 (3.87%) exposed health care workers tested positive, none of the 94 in the unexposed group did (P = 0.075). Seropositivity was more frequent among those whose intact skin had come in contact with nonsanguineous body fluids (9.52%) and those who had had percutaneous contacts (7.14%). Health care workers exposed to Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever patients, those who live in Systan-Baluchestan province, and older health care workers were more prone to seropositivity. Where introduction of high-risk modes of contact cannot be confined, we propose that health care workers take all the protective measures when handling Critnean-Congo hemorrhagic fever patients, particularly their blood and other body fluids.