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Congo fever kills 4 Heratis, 41 more infected

Congo fever kills 4 Heratis, 41 more infected

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Jun 25, 2018 - 20:01

HEART CITY (Pajhwok): More than 40 people have been tested positive for Congo fever that resulted in death of four people in western Herat province since late March, local healthinfo-icon officials said Monday.

Forty-one Congo fever cases were recorded in Herat since March 21. Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is caused by infection with a tick-borne virus (Nairovirus) in the family Bunyaviridae. The disease was first characterized in Crimea in 1944 and given the name Crimean hemorrhagic fever.

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.

Health officials in Herat expressed concern over the increasing CCHF cases in the province.

Mohammad Naim Dawlati, head of the Herat Zonal Hospital, addressed a conference to spread awareness about CCHF and expressed concern about increasing positive cases.

He linked the increase in Congo cases to infected animals being transported to Afghanistaninfo-icon from Iran and Turkmenistan.

He said 47 percent of the patients were womeninfo-icon and the main cause was not observing sanitary in cooking livestock meat.

Four people infected with the disease died in the province since the beginning of this solar yearinfo-icon while 41 others are suffering, he said.

Dawlati said 80 people were tested positive for Congo virus last year when 17 patients died.

Also present at the press conference was Ahmad Amir Nijad, head of Emergency Response in the western zone. He said the number of infected people in Heart was higher compared to other provinces.

“In total 115 cases have been recorded across Afghanistan and 41 of them were recorded in Herat, this shows more than 40 percent of the cases,” he said.

Nisar Ahmad, one of the patients, said: “I slaughtered a sheep and its blood contacted my hands and feet, I fell ill after that and went to hospital, now I have somehow improved.”

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.

Khalil Ahmad Waez, animal health in charge in agricultureinfo-icon department of Herat, said butchers should use gloves and protective kit such as eye glasses, masks and boots while slaughtering animals.

He said slaughtered animals should not be touched and left for up to two hours. Animals should be slaughtered away from residential areas and their hide kept in a plastic bag.

mds/ma

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