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Tuesday, June 25, 2024  
18 Dhul-Hijjah 1445  

Congo patient dies in Quetta bringing death toll from tick-borne virus to 8

A total of 20 people have been infected in the province this year
Stock image.
Stock image.

Another congo virus patient in Quetta died on Monday, taking the total number of deaths from the virus in the province to eight.

The patient has been identified as 35-year-old Mansoor who was brought to the Fatima Jinnah hospital three days ago.

Meanwhile, two more people infected with the congo virus have been admitted to the same hospital taking the total number of cases in the province this year to 20.

What is Congo Virus

Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is caused by infection with a virus from that is transmitted by ticks. Crimean hemorrhagic fever was the term given to the illness when it was first identified in the Crimea in 1944. The disease’s current name came about as a result of the fact that it was later identified as the illness’s primary cause in the Congo in 1969.

Humans contract the disease by coming into contact with infected ticks or animal blood, infectious blood, or bodily fluids. The hosts of the CCHF virus include a wide range of wild and domestic animals such as cattle, sheep, goats and other livestock.

Hospitals have also documented cases of CCHF spreading because of contaminated medical supplies, reused needles, and insufficient sterilization of medical equipment.

Early indications and symptoms of CCHF include :

  • headache
  • high temperature
  • back discomfort
  • joint pain,
  • stomach pain,
  • vomiting

It’s typical to have red eyes, flushed skin, a sore throat, and petechiae (red patches) on the palate. Jaundice and, in more severe cases, alterations in mood and sensory perception are other symptoms that might occur.

As the illness progresses, large areas of severe bruising, severe nosebleeds, and uncontrolled bleeding at injection sites can be seen, beginning on about the fourth day of illness and lasting for about two weeks. In documented outbreaks of CCHF, fatality rates in hospitalized patients have ranged from 9% to as high as 50%.

According to the World Health Organization, there is no vaccine available for either people or animals infected with the virus.

Treatment for CCHF is primarily supportive. Care should include careful attention to fluid balance and correction of electrolyte abnormalities, oxygenation, and hemodynamic support, and appropriate treatment of secondary infections. The virus is sensitive in vitro to the antiviral drug ribavirin. It has been used in the treatment of CCHF patients reportedly with some benefit.

The long-term effects of CCHF infection have not been studied well enough in survivors to determine whether or not specific complications exist. However, recovery is slow.

This information was taken from the websites of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

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