5 Congo virus cases diagnosed in Ghazni this year
GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): Five Congo virus cases have been diagnosed so far this year in southern Ghazni province, a public health official said on Sunday, a day after two persons died of the tick-borne viral disease.
Viral diseases control branch head at the provincial Public Health Department, Dr. Mohammad Nasim Ibrar, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the number of patients infected with Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) had lately increased in Ghazni.
He said so far this year five positive Congo virus cases had surfaced in the province and two of the infected persons had died of the disease.
He said three of the cases were reported during Eidul Adha days and the victims were from the same family and two of them had died. He said all the patients were farmers or worked at slaughterhouses.
“The number of patients with Congo fever is increasing and if preventive measures are not taken as soon as possible, a humanitarian tragedy is imminent,” warned the public health official.
Dr. Mohammad Hussain Irfani at the provincial civil hospital told Pajhwok Afghan News the virus was transmitted from tick-bitten animal to humans who transmitted the virus to others by physical interaction or donating blood.
He said first signs included muscle ache, dizziness, stiffness, backache, neck pain and sore eyes.
Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, sore throat and diarrhoea are some other symptoms and rashes may develop from bleeding in mouth and throat, and on the skin.
Death may also occur due to kidney, liver or pulmonary failure after the fifth day of disease.
Dr. Irfani said the disease was treatable in initial stage and one with such signs should contact doctor as soon as possible. “The virus exists in meat so the meat should be intensively cooked.”
A resident of Ghazni City, Mohammadullah, said his cousin contracted the disease on the Khost-Ghazni highway and now he was at hospital in Khost province, but they planned to shift him to Kabul for better treatment.
Another person, Sher Mohammad, who works at the slaughterhouse in Ghazni, said his nephew and three other persons had been diagnosed with Congo fever and the three had died.
He said if the virus was not contained, it would claim many lives in the province.
Ghazni public health director Zia Gul Asfanda told Pajhwok Afghan News that three persons had caught the virus recently in the province. She said two of the three patients, all shifted to Kabul, had died of the disease.
Public Health Minister Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz had said that Congo was a serious health issue and the disease had claimed so far 12 lives in the country.
He had put the number of Congo patients at 44 since the start of the current solar year and had warned against the spread of the disease during Eidul Adha days.
Congo, more correctly called Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF), is an infectious disease caused by a tick-borne virus. The disease is named so because it was first described in Crimea (1944) and identified properly in Congo (1956).
It is transferred by ticks, mostly from Hyaloma genus, a hard-bodied tick, to both domestic animals and humans. It is similar to other viral haemorrhagic fevers, including Dengue and Ebola.
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