KARACHI- Sindh Health Department has issued Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) advisory for people of the province of Sindh, and has urged them to take serious preventative measures, to steer clear of this dangerously contagious disease.
The Congo is a highly contagious viral disease that has a high fatality rate. It spreads by the bite of ticks present on wild and domestic animals, such as cattle, goats, sheep and hares, that serve as amplifying hosts for the virus, or its contact with wound or abraded skin of handlers.
The transmission of Congo virus to humans occurs through contact with infected ticks or animals/human blood. It can also be transmitted from the infected human to another by contact with infectious blood or body fluids.
It can also occur within health facilities, due to improper sterilization of medical equipments, reuse of injection needles, and contamination of medical supplies.
The general public and cattle handlers have been directed to ensure personal protective measures like use of full and light colored clothing and gloves during handling and butchering of animals. Apply anti-tick repellents on body and clothing.
In order to contain the growth of ticks animals, especially slaughter animals must be sprayed with or dipped into water having Acaricide, Cypermetherin etc. The use of insecticide chemicals around animals farms and slaughterhouses to decontaminate animal’s waste and secretions must be ensured in order to limit the spread of virus.
If following signs and symptoms develop, like stomach pain, high grade fever, headache, back pain, joint pain, vomiting, red eyes, flushed face, red throat, and red spots on the palate, the person should be rushed to the nearest health facility.
This year, more than 30 Congo infected patients were reported at public and private sector hospitals of Karachi. Out of the total affected patients, four were residents of Karachi, out of which two died during treatment while two recovered from the viral fever.
The majority of Congo infected patients belonged to Balochistan, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, respectively.