Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a contagious disease caused by a tick-borne virus (Nairovirus) of the Bunyaviridae family.
Tick-borne is a diseases which afflict humans and other animals,through infectious agents transmitted by tick bites.
As Eid al-Adha is just on the corner the government of Pakistan has issued an alert regarding the contagious Congo virus. As of this day six death have been registered due to the widespread of the virus in Karachi mainly because the hosts of the virus includes a vast range of wild and domestic animals such as cattle, sheep and goats.
The CCHF virus is transmitted to people either by tick bites or through contact with infected animal blood or tissues during and immediately after slaughter.
Signs and Symptoms
Onset of symptoms is sudden, with fever, myalgia, (muscle ache), dizziness, neck pain and stiffness, backache, headache, sore eyes and photophobia (sensitivity to light).
There may be nausea (uneasy stomach), vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and sore throat early on, followed by sharp mood swings and confusion.
After two to four days, the agitation may be replaced by sleepiness, depression and lassitude, and the abdominal pain may localize to the upper right quadrant, with detectable hepatomegaly (liver enlargement).
Prevention and Control
The tick vectors are numerous and widespread, so tick control with acaricides (chemicals intended to kill ticks) is only a realistic option for well-managed livestock production facilities cause other wise there are no vaccines available for use in animals.
How to reduce the risk of transmission in humans ?
In the absence of a vaccine, the only way to reduce infection in people is by raising awareness of the risk factors and educating people about the measures they can take to reduce exposure to the virus.
Reducing the risk of tick-to-human transmission:
- avoid areas where ticks are abundant and seasons when they are most active.
- seek to eliminate or control tick infestations on animals or in stables and barns; and
- regularly examine clothing and skin for ticks; if found, remove them safely;
- use approved repellent on the skin and clothing;
- use approved acaricides (chemicals intended to kill ticks) on clothing;
- wear light coloured clothing to allow easy detection of ticks on the clothes;
- wear protective clothing (long sleeves, long trousers);
Reducing the risk of animal-to-human transmission:
- wear gloves and other protective clothing while handling animals or their tissues in endemic areas, notably during slaughtering, butchering and culling procedures in slaughterhouses or at home;
- quarantine animals before they enter slaughterhouses or routinely treat animals with pesticides two weeks prior to slaughter.
Reducing the risk of human-to-human transmission in the community:
- avoid close physical contact with CCHF-infected people;
- wear gloves and protective equipment when taking care of ill people;
- wash hands regularly after caring for or visiting ill people.
-WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION