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Friday, December 1, 2023

CCHF Outbreak in Pakistan’s Balochistan Province: Health Workers Infected

Quetta: Two more Congo fever patients are being shifted to a private hospital in Karachi through an Edhi air ambulance from Quetta airport. Dawn

Balochistan, Pakistan Faces Critical Situation as Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Outbreak Escalates: More Than 40 Cases Confirmed by November 4th. Red Alert Issued as Health Workers Succumb, Prompting Hospital Ward Closure and Temporary Ban on Public Animal Slaughter until Nov. 8.

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After spending time in areas where ticks may be present, it is crucial to promptly bathe or shower and perform a comprehensive tick check across your entire body. Utilize a hand-held or full-length mirror to inspect all areas thoroughly. Whenever weather conditions permit, opt for clothing that covers both your arms and legs, and wear socks while avoiding sandals. Apply an insect repellent that contains around 35 percent diethyl(meta)toluamide, commonly known as DEET, on both clothing and exposed skin when engaging in outdoor activities. These precautions hold particular significance during daytime hours. If you develop a fever while or after being in Pakistan, especially if you recall being bitten by a tick, it is advisable to seek immediate medical attention from a healthcare provider.

Nationwide in Pakistan, the risk of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) infection is ever-present, with the highest risk typically occurring from April to September. CCHF is caused by a virus that commonly affects both wild and domestic animals such as cattle, sheep, and goats, and it has the potential to also infect humans. The transmission of this disease occurs through the bite of a tick or via contact with contaminated tissue or blood from infected humans or animals. Once a person is infected, the virus can spread among individuals through close personal contact. It’s noteworthy that healthcare workers are susceptible to CCHF if proper diagnosis and precautions are not implemented. The fatality rates for patients requiring hospitalization due to CCHF can vary from 9 to 50 percent. However, early treatment with the antiviral agent ribavirin has been shown to reduce fatality rates.


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