Saturday January 22, 2022

Congo fever claims 10th life in city

October 17, 2016

Nasir, a resident of Model Colony, is October’s third Congo fever victim

The Congo Crimean Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) claimed this year’s 10th life in Karachi on Sunday as a male patient passed away at the Dow University of Health Sciences’ (DUHS) Ojha campus hospital, health officials said.

Muhammad Nasir, a resident of Model Colony was admitted at Ojha hospital two days ago, on October 14, on suspicion of suffering from the haemorrhagic fever.

His blood and other samples were sent to the Aga Khan University Hospital’s (AKUH) lab for medical examinations where a PCR test by the lab confirmed that Nasir was suffering from CCHF.

The patient’s condition was said to have deteriorated on Sunday morning, and despite being admitted at the special care unit Nasir could not be saved; he passed away at around 1:00 pm, a health official stated.

With this death, the total number of people to have died of the lethal disease rose to 10 this year; after Eid-ul-Azha the total number of people reportedly admitted at various health facilities in the metropolis alone, rose to 75, stated Zafar Mehdi, an official of the Sindh health department.

On October 2, 35-year-old Samina, a resident of Hyderabad who was admitted to the JPMC, had passed away and doctors confirmed the cause as Congo fever.

Officials said Samina was vomiting blood and had high fever and tests conducted at the Aga Khan University Hospital confirmed she was suffering from Congo fever.

Samina’s death came a day after a 36-year-old butcher died of Congo fever at the JPMC. The man who passed away on Saturday, Muhammad Younus, 36, was a resident of Baldia Town who had been admitted to the JPMC on late Thursday night.

A polymerase chain reaction test had confirmed that he was suffering from Congo fever.

Dr Javed Jamali, the JPMC deputy director, told The News that Younus died in the afternoon.

“CCHF is a highly lethal disease with a rate of over 50 percent mortality. So far no cure except symptomatic treatment is available for infected patients.

The best option available is prevention,” Dr Atif Hafeez, president of the Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) said.

He, however, expressed concern over such a large number of CCHF cases reported from the entire country this year, especially in Karachi.

He asked the government to initiate an epidemiological study on rising cases of lethal viral diseases including Congo fever.

The deadly tick-borne disease is contracted through cattle and other animals as the parasite attaches itself onto the human skin.