Health concern: Congo fever claims sixth life at HMC

Afghan national Waheed Khan, 28, was brought to the hospital two days prior.

Asad Zia July 21, 2014

PESHAWAR: A sixth patient died reportedly of the Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever at Hayatabad Medical Complex on Sunday.

According to an HMC official, Afghan national Waheed Khan, 28, was brought to the hospital two days prior to his demise. “Though Waheed’s blood test results are not in yet, the symptoms he exhibited indicated he had contracted the Congo virus,” the official added.

Three patients from Afghanistan suspected to be suffering from Congo fever were admitted to the hospital last week. The National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad on Monday confirmed Roya Bibi, 15, tested positive for the virus while the results of Muhammad Ali Khan, 55, and Waheed Khan are still awaited.

HMC spokesperson on infectious diseases, Dr Wali Rehman said 12 patients suffering from the virus have been brought to HMC so far this year, of whom six have died. He said it takes up to 15 days for the results of the blood tests to arrive from NIH.

Dr Rehman said personal protection equipment has been provided to the hospital staff and no one is allowed to visit the isolation wards without gowns, gloves and masks.

He added four private rooms at HMC have been declared isolation units for Congo patients and that any individual brought to the casualty department with the symptoms will be directly admitted to the isolation ward.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2014.