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Girl suspected of Congo virus infection dies in Lahore

Mayo Hospital sources said that 12-year old Laiba, living at Narang Mandi, was admitted in the hospital a day earlier. The doctors were suspecting that it was a case of Congo virus infection.

Sources said that doctors are awaiting Laiba’s medical report from National Institute of Health (NIH).

The health department has been informed of the 12-year old’s death.


Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a widespread disease caused by a tick-borne virus. It was first discovered in Crimea in 1944 and was later also found in Democratic Republic of Congo.

The deadly virus causes severe viral haemorrhagic fever outbreaks with a case fatality rate of 10–40%. It is found in a wide range of wild and domestic animals such as cattle, sheep and goats.

It is difficult to prevent or control CCHF infection in animals and ticks as the infection in domestic animals is usually not apparent. There are no vaccines available for use in animals.

It is transmitted to people either by tick bites or through contact with infected animal blood or tissues during and immediately after slaughter. The majority of cases have occurred in people involved in the livestock industry, such as agricultural workers, slaughterhouse workers and veterinarians.

The symptoms included fever, muscle ache, dizziness, neck pain and stiffness, backache, headache, sore eyes and sensitivity to light.

There may be nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and sore throat, followed by sharp mood swings and confusion. After two to four days, the agitation may be replaced by sleepiness and depression.

Reducing the risk of tick-to-human transmission:

In order to prevent the risk of tick-to-human transmission, protective clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers should be donned whereas light coloured clothing should be worn to allow easy detection of ticks on the clothes.

Use approved repellent on the skin and clothing and clothing and skin should be regularly examined for ticks.

Reducing the risk of animal-to-human transmission:

Gloves and other protective clothing should be worn while handling animals or their tissues in endemic areas, notably during slaughtering, butchering and culling procedures in slaughterhouses or at home.

Animals should be put into quarantine before they enter slaughterhouses or routinely treat animals with pesticides two weeks prior to slaughter.

Reducing the risk of human-to-human transmission in the community:

Close physical contact with CCHF-infected people should be avoided whereas Wear gloves and protective equipment should be worn at all times when taking care of ill people.

Health-care workers caring for patients with suspected or confirmed CCHF should implement standard infection control precautions. These include basic hand hygiene, use of personal protective equipment, safe injection practices and safe burial practices.



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