KARACHI: This year’s third case of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) in Karachi was reported late Tuesday night after an 18-year-old patient, Farooq, was admitted to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC).
Speaking to The Express Tribune, JPMC Executive Director Dr Seemin Jamali confirmed that the patient tested positive for CCHF, commonly known as Congo virus. “The patient hails from Quetta,” she said, adding that he was bleeding when he was brought to the hospital.
According to Jamali, Farooq arrived in Karachi a week ago and he had symptoms of the disease. He was admitted to a private hospital due to a high-grade fever before being shifted to JPMC.
The doctor added that the patient had been kept in isolation in an intensive care unit due to the contagious nature of the disease. “He is kept on a symptomatic treatment and platelets are being infused in addition with anti-viral medications.”
Earlier this year, Sadiq Ali, 36-year-old resident of Lyari, died at Liaquat National Hospital due to complications of Congo virus.
Another patient who tested positive for Congo virus was successfully treated at JPMC this year and discharged, Jamali said.
CCHF is a viral disease typically spread by tick bites or contact with livestock carrying the disease. It can be spread among people via body fluids.
Symptoms of the virus include fever, ache in muscle, headache, vomiting, diarrhoea and bleeding. The symptoms start emerging in two weeks following the exposure to the disease.
The recovery process generally takes around two weeks after the onset. According to experts, humans and animal healthcare authorities and livestock handlers need to adopt precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
According to an advisory issued by the National Institute of Health, Congo virus is more rampant in Balochistan than other provinces. However, cases have been reported from all the regions of the country.
There is currently no vaccine available for humans and the only way to reduce infection is by raising awareness.
Medical practitioners advise avoiding close physical contact with CCHF-infected people, and wearing gloves and protective equipment while attending to them.