Growing concerns have arisen in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa following the unfortunate death of an Afghan national from Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) and an alarming increase in cases of this tick-borne viral disease.
According to health officials, eight cases of Congo fever have been reported in the province. Of these, three patients currently receive treatment at Peshawar's Hayatabad Medical Complex, while another is being treated at Khyber Teaching Hospital in the capital city.
Congo Haemorrhagic Fever spreads in Peshawar.— Mumtaz (@mumti) July 20, 2023
1. 40% death rate
2. Transmitted by ticks/ contact with infected animals via blood. All current patients had animal contact during recent Eid-ul-Azha
3. High fever, body pains, headache, red eyes, vomitinghttps://t.co/YZqn62aMQJ
A health department report disclosed that on July 8, an Afghan national succumbed to Congo fever at Khyber Teaching Hospital, while another patient was undergoing treatment for the same viral disease at the same facility.
Additionally, three more patients were admitted to Hayatabad Medical Complex, each receiving treatment in separate private rooms, an emergency room, and a medical ward.
The reported cases of Congo fever involve individuals between the ages of 22 and 65, including one woman. According to anonymous doctors, all confirmed CCHF cases had been in contact with sacrificial animals during the recent Eid-ul-Azha festival.
The incubation period for the disease is approximately 21 days, and symptoms have started to manifest.
These medical professionals stressed that individuals who came into contact with sacrificial animals during the festival, such as slaughterhouse workers, butchers, and cleaners, were particularly at risk of contracting Congo fever.
However, the risk extended to others who visited cattle markets to purchase sacrificial animals in the days leading up to Eid-ul-Azha.
Congo fever is primarily transmitted through tick bites or contact with infected animals' blood. In the past, it was mainly limited to slaughterhouse workers, but the recent Eid ul Azha activities have exposed a broader population to the disease.
کانگو وا ئرس, خود بچیں ،بچوں کو بچائیں!— Punjab Health Reforms (@PunjabReforms) July 20, 2020
کانگو بخار کی وجہ ایک خطرناک وائرس ہے جو جانورں اور مویشیوں کے خون، گوشت اور ان پر پلنے والے چیچڑ سے پھیلتا ہے. #PunjabHealthReforms #StayHomeStaySafe #CongoVirus #WashYourHands #GoodHygiene #WearMask pic.twitter.com/vQm16kJHnX
The mortality rate for Congo fever patients is approximately 40 percent, making it a serious health concern. Cooperation and timely action are critical in mitigating the impact of Congo fever on public health in the region.