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5 out of 86 Congo patients die in Herat

5 out of 86 Congo patients die in Herat

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Aug 04, 2019 - 17:26

HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): Five people have died out of 86 who contracted the fatal Congo disease in western Herat province this year, an official said on Sunday.

The Congo virus has been a huge concern and challenge in the country particularly in Herat, where Congo fever cases increase in summer and during Eidul Adha days.

Ghausuddin, a 38-year old livestock farmer who is diagnosed with Congo virus, said: “When I slaughtered a sheep, the blood was all over my face and hands and then I fell sick.”

Another patient, Mohammad Sarwar, also a livestock farmer and resident Pashtuninfo-icon Zarghon district, said: “When I saw some sings on my face and hands, then visited the district’s hospital and the doctor advised a blood test. I was diagnosed with the virus.”

Dr. Amir Nizhad, a senior official at the Herat Zonal Hospital, said they were concerned about the spread of Congo virus.

He said 87 individuals were detected with Congo virus during the ongoing year and five of them lost their lives so far.

He said the patients included 27 women. He said last year a total of 76 Congo virus cases were registered.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Farhad Shafee, a senior Agricultureinfo-icon Department official, asked people to be careful and consider all precautions while dealing with animals.

CCHF is a viral disease. Symptoms may include fever, muscle pains, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, and bleeding into the skin. The CCHF virus is typically spread by tick bites or contact with livestock carrying the disease.

People mainly contract the CCHF virus from infected ticks or contact with infected animal blood and tissue.

There are no vaccines available to immunize animals but precautionary measures include disinfection of livestock pens, submerging livestock in solutions for decontamination, and meat packaging safeguards.

The virus has a presence in neighbouring Iran where the virus killed three people in 2015.

According to the World Health Organization, CCHF's mortality rate is about 30 percent and is endemic in Africa, the Balkans and Ukraine, the Middle East and Central Asia.

CCHF was first detected in Crimea in 1944 and then in the Congo in 1969. In 2011, it was detected for the first time in ticks in Spain.

pk/ma

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