Karachi at risk of Congo Epidemic

admin 08:57 PM, 13 Sep, 2014

Karachi: Haemoraging fever including congo and dengue may take on the shape of an epidemic if not addressed properly, talking to Medical News Dr Saqib Hussain Ansari a renowned haematologist expressed.

Dr Saqib said that Karachi is at a risk only if the provincial authorities concerned could not impose complete ban on the entry of infected animal from specific areas of Baluchistan province. Talking to Medical News the learned doctor said that his source of information is from Sindh and Baluchistan secretaries of health talking on television.

He suggested that blood tests on animals where 9 and 10 cases as claimed by Baluchistan secretary health are is a must, such animals may than be slaughtered and buried to avoid spread of the disease.

Congo is deadly viral diseases spread through tick-bites found on animals and people who deal with dairy farming and livestock are likely to get infected and carry the virus.

He suspected that Congo virus may spread through travelers in our country and it is time that the authorities concerned should enforce screening and quarantine measures to control its spread.

Dr Saqib said prevention and management of Congo virus is difficult due to poor blood bank system in Sindh province and also in Karachi in public sectors hospitals having no facilities for platelets extraction.  Private institutions are solely providing blood banks and platelets test facilities to patients in case of dengue or Congo viral diseases suspicions and charging high fees.

With Eid ul Azha not far and a large number of sacrificial animals will make their way to Karachi, therefore the spread is imminent unless authorities concerned devise a strategy for proper screening and vaccination of animals ahead of Eid.

A ban should be imposed immediately on entry of infected animals coming from specifics areas of Baluchistan as a precautionary measures. He said Congo viral disease could transform into human by eating meat of infected animal.

An awareness campaign should be launched about the mode of transmission from animals to humans as thousands of people earned their livelihood through dairy and livestock farming. He said people needed to be informed about precautions that could be taken to protect them from the condition.

He advised people to avoid purchasing animals suffering from flu and any other kind of illness and properly cook meat to minimize the risk of catching Congo viral disease. Hospitals must have proper isolation wards with infection control regime in place and the paramedical staff handling such patients must have proper protective gear to avoid contracting the disease.



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