Date: Fri Aug 2014
Source: Azer News [edited]

About 200 cases of human infection with brucellosis have been registered in Azerbaijan from 2014, Department Head of the Epidemiology of Infectious and Special Dangerous Infectious Diseases of the Republican Anti-Plague Station, Rita Ismayilova reported.

Brucellosis is a contagious zoonosis caused by ingestion of unpasteurized milk or undercooked meat from infected animals or close contacts with their secretions. It usually begins with a high fever, which lasts for 7-10 days, but in case of absence of appropriate therapy, the temperature would keep up even for 2-3 months [so-called indolent fever - Mod.LL]. The fever is accompanied by chills, excessive sweating and general symptoms of intoxication. Later, it is joined by symptoms involving the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, nervous, and other body systems.

"Frequency of cases in 2014 has not changed in comparison with 2013," she noted. "The highest number of cases is reported in Ganja, Imishli and Bilasuvar, and the lowest number in Baku, North and South regions (Guba, Khachmaz, Astara and Masalli). There have been no cases of death resulting from the infection in 2014 or 2013," she said.

Ismayilova stressed that human infection occurs through direct contact with animals or eating contaminated foods such as raw milk and cheese made from unpasteurized milk.

Ismaylova noted that brucellosis infection is endemic in the country. "Epidemic analysis of materials related to the main sources and routes of brucellosis transmission in our country in recent years has shown that the main source of infection is small livestock."

Such cases have been recorded throughout the current year [2014] in Azerbaijan. The number of cases of brucellosis increases in summer and autumn.  [Byline: Amina Nazarli]
[Brucellosis (<>) is a disease that is thought to have existed since ancient times, as it was 1st described more than 2000 years ago by the Romans and Hippocrates. It was not until 1887 that a British physician, Dr David Bruce, isolated the organism that causes brucellosis from several deceased patients from the island of Malta. This disease has had several names throughout its history, including Mediterranean fever, Malta fever, Crimean fever, Bang's disease, and undulant fever (because of the relapsing nature of the fever associated with the disease).

The symptoms and signs of brucellosis may develop from days to months after the initial exposure to the organism. While some individuals may develop mild symptoms, others may go on to develop long-term chronic symptoms.

The signs and symptoms of brucellosis are extensive, and they can be similar to many other febrile illnesses, so recognition of potential exposure -- from ingestion of unpasteurized milk or cheese, working in a slaughter house or meat processing plant, or working in a microbiology lab -- is vital. - ProMed Mod.LL]

[A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at:
Date: Sat, 20 Jul 2013 04:26:15 +0200 (METDST)

STEPANAKERT, Azerbaijan, July 20, 2013 (AFP) - Sniper fire, minefields, ghost towns: perched perilously on the verge of conflict, the disputed Armenian-controlled Azerbaijani region of Nagorny Karabakh may not sound the ideal holiday destination.   Now, though, a growing number of foreign tourists are heading to the breakaway territory -- which is not recognised by any state -- and say they are seeing a different side to its war-scarred image.

Wandering around the region's largest town Stepanakert as part of a tour group whose members come from places ranging from Turin to Taiwan, French pharmacist Jordan Nahoum said that while he knew all about Nagorny Karabakh's bloody past, he was surprised by what he found.   "People are very nice and open," Nahoum, 23, told AFP as he stood next to a row of hawkers selling tourist trinkets. "It is very safe here and I see many tourists from different countries -- I don't feel myself in danger."

Seized from Azerbaijan by Armenian-backed separatists in a brutal war that claimed an estimated 30,000 lives as the Soviet Union disintegrated in the early 1990s, Nagorny Karabakh remains frozen between war and peace.

Despite a fragile 1994 ceasefire that ended major hostilities, repeated attempts to get Armenia and Azerbaijan to sign a final peace deal over the past two decades have failed, and both sides -- especially oil-rich Azerbaijan -- are rearming heavily.   Nagorny Karabakh is still recognised as part of Azerbaijan by the United Nations, but its population is almost completely ethnic Armenian after the Azerbaijani community fled in the wake of the war.   Soldiers along the heavily fortified frontline exchange gunfire almost daily, with both sides blaming each other for violating the ceasefire. So far this year some 20 soldiers from both sides have been killed.
-- 'A pleasant place for tourism' --
Despite this, the local authorities have pumped money into promoting the region at tourist fairs overseas, and they say the drive is paying off.   Over the past few years, local authorities say, visitor numbers have grown by 40 percent annually and in 2012 the number of foreign tourists -- not counting visitors from Armenia's huge diaspora -- topped 15,500 people.   "This unprecedented growth shows that despite the heated confrontation with Azerbaijan we've created an image of Karabakh as a pleasant place for tourism, safe and interesting," says Sergey Shahverdyan, head of the separatist authority's department for tourism.

Once ravaged by fighting, the serene boulevards of Stapanakert -- some 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the frontline -- do not feel like they are in a conflict zone and the town is now studded with new hotels and restaurants following a building boom in recent years.   "If we can maintain this sort of growth in visitors then in five years tourism will be one of the most profitable sectors for our budget," Shahverdyan said, pointing out that no tourist had ever been injured in Karabakh.
-- Rugged mountains and thickly forested hills --
Azerbaijan though is fiercely opposed to the nascent tourist industry in a region it considers under illegal occupation.  Anyone visiting Nagorny Karabakh -- which is only accessible by road from Armenia -- risks being blacklisted by Baku, and moves to open a new airport that would boost Stepanakert's links to the outside world have brought threats of a return to war.   But for those willing to risk the journey, tour operators argue that there is plenty to attract ourists to Nagorny Karabakh -- a spectacular highland area of rugged mountains and thickly forested hills.

Despite the destruction of cultural heritage in the war, the region remains studded with testaments to its rich and diverse history -- from ancient ruins to medieval monasteries and 18th-century mosques.   For some visitors though, that is not enough.   "There are those who prefer extreme tourism, who want to go to the frontline, but we have to explain to them that it can be dangerous as there are minefields," said Gohar Hovannisyan, a manager at tour firm Sati.

In fact, it is impossible to escape the grim reminders of the region's brutal conflict, which often saw neighbour turn on neighbour and the entire 600,000-strong Azerbaijani population of Nagorny Karabakh and seven surrounding districts forced to flee.   "We don't hide anything about the conflict," says tour guide Ani Hovhannisyan.   But both sides have radically different versions of what happened and inevitably it is the Armenian side of the story tourists hear when they visit.

Such is the case with the town of Agdam -- a former Azerbaijani city of around 50,000 inhabitants outside Karabakh, which was one of several areas Karabakh Armenian forces overran in 1993.   It is now a bombed-out ghost town, its Azerbaijani population among the hundreds of thousands forced to flee the region. Hovhannisyan says she tells her tourists that Agdam had to be cleared because Azerbaijanis there used to fire on Armenian civilians.

Despite the region's uncertain future, tourists like Andrey Hoynowski from Poland say they will be recommending a visit to their friends back home and that the added attention might even help Karabakh move on.   "They need to resolve this conflict peacefully, but in the meantime they shouldn't stop tourists from travelling here," Hoynowski, 59, said, smiling for a photograph in front of the medieval Gandzasar monastery.
Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2012 07:49:02 +0200 (METDST)

BAKU, Sept 28, 2012 (AFP) - A lightning strike that damaged a key power station in Azerbaijan sparked a mass power cut Friday in Baku and other parts of the country, halting the capital's metro and causing traffic chaos, officials said.   Lightning hit the power plant at Mingacevir in northwestern Azerbaijan during a storm overnight, disabling several power units which were burned, the emergencies ministry said in a statement.

There was no electricity in the capital Baku as the city woke up in the dark while the metro also stopped working. Traffic lights also were not working in several places, causing huge traffic jams. However the city's airport was not affected.   There were no reports of any casualties as a result of the lightning strike at the coal and fuel-fired power station, which reportedly supplies almost half of the country's electricity needs.
Date: 13 Jun 2012
Source: [edited]

The State Veterinary Service (SVS) of the Azerbaijani Agriculture Ministry has called for more vigilance at customs posts and trade centers due to an outbreak of anthrax in neighboring Georgia, a spokesman of the SVS, Yolchu Khanveli, said, Trend reports. No response to the request for information on anthrax has been given.

Imports of Georgian cattle and meat are permitted with vaccination. Imports need 21 days of quarantine. No cases of anthrax have been registered in Azerbaijan so far. 2 389 681 cattle, 7 041 396 small cattle, 106 421 one-hoofed animals, and 5880 pigs have been vaccinated.

30 people in Georgia, 20 of whom are Azerbaijanis, have been infected with anthrax.
[There are no reports by the OIE of any anthrax outbreaks in recent weeks except for one in relation to La Guajira in Colombia, nor of any human cases in Georgia or Azerbaijan. This is not to say that such events have not occurred or are not occurring. I would hazard a guess that Azerbaijanis in Georgia have been writing home recounting these events. But whatever it takes to get folks to be more aware and livestock vaccinated, so be it.

The disease is infrequent in Azerbaijan, with single outbreaks recorded in 2006, 2007 (with 17 human cases), 2008 (with 12 human cases), and a single human case with no reported livestock cases in 2010; no human or livestock cases were reported in 2011. Unfortunately, the disease is more active in Georgia and with significant numbers of human cases: 2006 (38 human cases); 2007 (42); 2008 (62); 2009 (38); 2010 (28); and 2011 (81 with one death). - ProMed Mod.MHJ]

[A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at:
Date: Mon 14 Jun 2010
Source: APA News [edited]
A 12-year-old schoolboy died from rabies in Ashagi Baharli village of Aghdam, APA's Karabakh bureau reports. The boy had been bitten by his dog. As the injury was slight, his parents did not pay attention to it. Some days later, the child began to cough. Though they went to the doctor several times, he felt worse day after day. The boy's relatives told APA's correspondent that they did not tell the doctor that the child had been bitten. When he was taken to the capital, it became known he had been infected with rabies. He died on Sat 12 Jun 2010.

The staff of Aghdam Central Hospital has taken control at the village where the boy lived. The boy's relatives relatives told APA's Karabakh bureau that the dog, which had bitten the schoolboy, had run away. Aghdam Central Hospital informed APA's Karabakh bureau  that the boy's relatives, their neighbors and anyone who had contact with the boy, has now been vaccinated against rabies virus infection.
[A map of the regions and districts of Azerbaijan can be accessed at:

The HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of Azerbaijan is available at:
<>. - ProMed Mod.CP]
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