Renowned Haematologist Dr Saqib Hussain Ansari has expressed fears that Congo virus might take epidemic shape in upcoming weeks in Karachi if the provincial authorities concerned could not impose ban of the entry of infected animal from specific areas of Baluchistan province.
Talking to PPI , Dr Saqib Ansari said Congo is deadly viral disease spread through a tick-bite found on animals and people who deal with dairy farming and livestock is the most likely to catch the deadly virus. He said Congo virus is new disease in Pakistan and its neighboring countries. He suspected that Congo virus disease spread in country through travelers.
He said Congo Crimean Haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is common in African countries and significant number of people had died due to Congo virus in these countries so far. He said England had culled million of animals over suspicious of mad cow disease in past.
Dr Ansari said prevention and management of Congo virus was difficult due to lack of blood bank system in Sindh province and also in Karachi in public sectors hospitals.
He expressed fears that Congo viral disease might take epidemic shape in upcoming weeks as big number of sacrificial animals would be brought in Karachi for Eid-ul-Azha. He said authorities concerned could not devise any strategy for screening and vaccination of animals so far. He said authorities should impose ban on entry of infected animals coming from specific areas of Baluchistan under precautionary measures. He said Congo viral disease could be transformed into human by eating meat of infected animal.
He stressed the need of launching of an awareness campaign 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 said ten Congo virus cases were reported from Baluchistan province and two from Karachi in 2014 so far.
He advised people to avoid purchasing animals suffering from flu and any other kind of illness from cattle markets. He said properly cooked meat decreased the risk of catching Congo viral disease so people should adopt precautionary measures to prevent from this disease.
On other hand, Joint Executive Director, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center, Dr Seemi Jamali, said a teenage boy was brought to the hospital in a very critical condition with Congo viral fever. She said that the boy was being kept in the isolation ward. It was the first case in one of the city’s biggest health facilities where a patient with Congo virus was said to be in stable condition, she said.
She said boy used to play in animal pens where he contracted this viral disease. She said body is recovering. She said staff and family members also provided anti-viral medicines to prevent them from contracting the Congo disease.
Earlier, 24-year-old Muhammad Kashif, the city’s first case of the year, died in a private hospital in August. Kashif was a resident of Gulberg town, Federal B Area. Kashif was a butcher by profession.