Eid-Ul-Adha is upon us and a tick-borne viral disease called “Crimean–Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF)” has emerged in areas of Pakistan.The number of cases being reported from the northern areas has increased taking the death toll to around 18-20 lives.This virus is an inhabitant of the african countries but around 48-50 cases have been reported in pakistan since 2010.
The host to this virus are a range of wild and domestic animals including goats,cows,buffaloes etc. The tucks are able to live in their skin and suck its blood and so the virus remains in the animals blood stream for about a week after the infection,and there are no vaccines available for use in animals.The transmission from animal to human is either through tick bites or by coming in close contact with the infected animals blood or tissue while slaughtering them it is also transferred through open wounds.
CCHF symptoms are very much similar to dengue which includes dizziness,fatigue,fever,nausea,sore eyes and neck pain,so this might pertain to misdiagnosis.So in order to correctly diagnose the virus certain laboratory tests can be carried out like for example Antigen Detection test.
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General awareness for the public through social media and remedial measures by the government may be taken to avoid the serious consequences which may result from the virus, as in 30-40% cases it also proves to be fatal.
Karachi and other areas of Pakistan are at a risk of Congo Virus epidemic for which precautionary measures have to be taken,so the approach to managing the risk of the virus spreading in humans are:-
- Educating people about the prevalence of the virus
- Wearing protective clothing like (full sleeves,long trousers)
- Using mosquito or tick repellent
- Wear gloves while holding the knife for slaughtering the animal
- Wash hands thoroughly after shaking hands with an ill person
- Any symptoms reffering to the disease should immediately be treated at the hospital.