History of Congo virus in Pakistan traces back to September 2010. An outbreak was reported in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. As record keeping was not maintained and the diagnosis was not made in time, the extent of this outbreak was uncertain, however, some reports indicate over 100 cases, with a case-fatality rate above 10%. With Eid-ul-Azha at the corner, there is a wave of fear among people relating to the purchase of animals to be sacrificed.
According to research, Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a widespread tick-borne viral disease that is endemic in Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and Asia. The virus is a member of the Bunyaviridae family of RNA viruses. It is a zoonotic disease carried by several domestic and wild animals. Congo virus is caused by a tiny insect whose single bite may lead to death for any person.
The death toll from the Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever or Congo virus in Pakistan has climbed to 19 this year, with five deaths reported in Karachi, twelve in Quetta and two in Bahawalpur.
In Quetta, according to details, 84 patients have been brought in Fatima Jinnah General and Chest Hospital in the ongoing year. At least 22 of them have been confirmed with the disease whereas three are still under treatment.
Since Congo virus cases have been witnessed in Karachi in past few months, therefore, people should be aware of the symptoms of the illness. In 75 percent of cases, the signs of disease appear within 3-5 days of the onset of disease in case of inadequate containment of the first symptoms, which are mood instability, agitation, mental confusion, and throat petechiae; and soon after nosebleeds, vomiting and black stools.
Demand for mutton and beef has declined in Multan after several Congo virus cases were reported from south Punjab last week.
The government seems to be uninterested in tackling the deadly Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever, or Congo virus, by making vaccinations compulsory before the arrival of sacrificial animals in Karachi’s cattle markets. The disease has claimed several lives in the last month, including a doctor from Bahawalpur. So far, there is no policy requiring the animals to be vaccinated before being granted entry into the market.