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August 7, 2016

Confirmed patient discharged after complete cure at HFH

Islamabad

August 7, 2016

Rawalpindi

A confirmed patient of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) who had been undergoing treatment here at Holy Family Hospital since July 23 and was declared dead falsely in a section of press on Monday, August 1, has been discharged after achieving complete cure while confirmatory tests in another three suspect cases of the infection turned out to be negative.

62-year-old Ulfat Muhammad son of Ujjal Muhammad, a resident of Choa Saidan Shah in Chakwal district was brought to the HFH on July 23 as a suspect case of dengue fever but he was tested negative for dengue fever and later, after being suspected as a patient of CCHF, his blood sample was sent to National Institute of Health (NIH) for confirmatory test.

The NIH confirmed his positive status for CCHF on July 29. Ulfat, however, has been discharged from the hospital after achieving complete cure on Saturday.

The HFH has sent blood samples of another five patients to the NIH for confirmatory tests after being suspected them as cases of CCHF. Reports in three cases of the infection namely Saeed, Sakhawat and Umar have been received by the hospital on Friday and they have been confirmed negative by the NIH.

However, at present two other suspects of CCHF including Sarwar from Taxila and Shazia have been undergoing treatment at the HFH in isolation and result in their cases would possibly be received by the hospital on Monday, said a top official at the HFH while talking to ‘The News’ on Saturday.

Pleading anonymity, he said the successful treatment in case of confirmed patient of CCHF at the HFH would help reducing panic among public and healthcare service providers.

It is important that the HFH had managed and treated successfully a number of confirmed cases of CCHF in last few years.

The deadly infection claimed two lives involving Punjab province in last three weeks causing a significant level of fear and panic among general public and healthcare providers mainly because both the confirmed patients of CCHF who died of the infection were healthcare service providers.

One Dr. Sagheer Ahmed, a general surgeon at Victoria Hospital Bahawalpur died of the infection at Aga Khan Hospital in Karachi on July 30 while the other patient, a female medical student tested positive for CCHF and died at Victoria Hospital Bahawalpur some three weeks back.

Studies reveal that the CCHF is caused by Nairovirus of the Bunyaviridae family and can be transmitted to humans by the bite of Hyalomma tick that is mostly found on the skin of animals including goat, sheep or cattle. The CCHF is also caused by direct contact with the blood of an infected animal or human. Exposure to blood or tissue of the infected animal during or post slaughtering and direct contact with blood or secretions of infected person may also cause transmission.

Many health experts including Additional District Health Officer at ICT Health Department Dr. Muhammad Najeeb Durrani have expressed to ‘The News’ that the CCHF has an infrequent incidental appearance in Pakistan and it can appear anywhere but at the most risk are animal handlers and the health care providers. Experts say that there is a need of creating awareness among public and high risk groups to take necessary preventive measures well in time to avoid losses.

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