Conflicting reports surface about congo fever among Afghans
KABUL (Pajhwok): Three Afghan patients with Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) have been transferred to Hayat Medical Complex (HMC) in Peshawar, provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, for treatment but Afghanistan’s Ministry of Health rejected presence of the viral disease in the country.
CCHF is a disease caused by a tick-borne virus (Nairovirus) of the Bunyaviridae family. The CCHF virus causes severe viral haemorrhagic fever outbreaks, with a case fatality rate of 10–40%, medics said.
Medical specialists say Congo is a zoonotic disease which is carried by several domestic and wild animals like cow, goat, sheep and ostriches.
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.
The onset of CCHF is sudden, with initial signs and symptoms including headache, high fever, back pain, joint pain, stomach pain, and vomiting. Red eyes, a flushed face, a red throat, and petechiae (red spots) on the palate are common. Symptoms may also include jaundice, and in severe cases, changes in mood and sensory perception.
Abdul Wahid, who is the head nurse and in charge of Congo center in HMC, told Pajhwok Afghan News three infected persons were transferred to the center for treatment.
Zakirullah 9 son of Raziqullah, the resident of Bamyan, was discharged from the hospital the other day who was recovered from the virus, he said, adding that another patient Khaliq Dad 30 and Hasham 33 were died of the disease in the hospital.
Wahid further added that few others infected with same virus had been died in recent past.
Wahidullah Mayar, spokesman of the Ministry of Health in Kabul, rejected the claim and said that the disease did not exist in Afghanistan. He said the disease was reported back in 2009 in western Herat and central Bamyan provinces.
Mayar said the infected patients might be Afghan refugees living in Pakistan and he ensured that the Ministry of Health would immediately consult with Ministry of Health in Pakistan about the disease.
Pajhwok Afghan News also contacted director of health in eastern Nangarhar and Bamyan provinces who also rejected any such disease in the provinces.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.