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Fearing Congo virus, Ghazni residents avoid eating meat

Fearing Congo virus, Ghazni residents avoid eating meat

Oct 23, 2016 - 15:20

GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): Most residents avoid eating meat, yogurt and milk after seeing signs of Congo virus spread in different areas of southern Ghazni province.

Six people affected by the virus recently died in Ghazni. Two persons from the province infected with the virus are still under treatment in Kabulinfo-icon hospitals.The virus also killed a number of people in other provinces.

A butcher in the provincial capital, Jan Mohammad, told Pajhwok Afghan News that Congo virus had created concerns among people.“In the past, I sold meat of three to four sheep a day, but now I cannot sell even seven kilograms.”

He asked the officials concerned to find a solution to the problem; otherwise butchers would quit their business.

Mohammad Ibrahim, a resident of Ghazni City, confirmed people had also stopped consuming milk and yogurt.

Ahmad Zia, a resident of Andar district, said: “Yes, there concerns among residents over possible Congo virus spread. A few days ago, I attended a wedding function, where guests eschewed eating meat.”

However, Public Healthinfo-icon Director Zia Gul Asfandi said the virus could not be transferred through meat or dairies.“It’s a dangerous disease, but the virus cannot resist in 80Co and -8Co temperatures, meat is cooked at 100 Co, so people should not worry about eating meat or dairy products.”

The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) was trying to find a remedy and people should wait until a solution was found, she added.

A doctor at Ghazni Civil Hospital, Mohammad Hussain Erfani, said the virus could be transmitted from an affected person to another by Hyalomma ticks or by the transfusion of blood donated by the a Congo patient.

Initials signs of the virus include headaches, high fever, backache, joints pain, stomach issues and vomiting. Red eyes, a flushed face, a red throat, and petechiae (red spots) on the palate are common signs of it.

At the initial stage, the disease could be cured and patients should visit health centers immediately, he said.“If this virus is seen in meat, it should be properly cooked,” he explained.

According to MoPH officials, Congo virus cases have been detected in 14 provinces of the country.Fifty-three cases were registered in western Herat province alone.

Congo, more correctly called Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic 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, to both domestic animals and humans. It is similar to other viral hemorrhagic fevers, including Dengue and Ebola.



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