The administration of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) confirmed on Sunday that a 23-year-old man with Congo-Crimean Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) was admitted to one of its isolation wards.
“Salman, son of Abdur Rasheed, was brought to JPMC emergency with bruises on his body on Saturday and we shifted him to an isolation ward on suspicion of Congo virus,” Dr Seemin Jamali, executive director, said while talking to The News. On Sunday he was confirmed to have contracted CCHF, she added.
CCHF is a tick-borne, potentially lethal viral disease with 30-40 per cent mortality rate and is usually contracted by people who remain in contact with cattle and animals.
Dr Jamali said the patient’s condition was critical due to extremely low platelets and total leucocytes counts (TLC). She mentioned that the patient was being given supportive and anti-viral drugs. She added that this was the eighth case of Congo virus at JPMC. Two patients have already succumbed to the disease earlier.
“Survival rate of CCHF at JPMC is very high and positive if the patients are brought in during the initial stages of contracting the disease,” she assured, urging people to visit the health facility at any sign of a sudden onset of high fever, vomiting, muscle ache and red spots on the body as well as bleeding from the mouth or nose.
“Animal herders, livestock handlers and slaughterhouse workers are at a greater risk of contracting this disease but since a lot of people are handling sacrificial animals, they should also take extra precautionary measures,” Dr Jamali advised.
Another infectious diseases specialist from Aga Khan University Hospital, Dr Bushra Jamil, said CCHF can be contracted from a tick present on the skin of cattle or animals or infected animals but warned that they show no sign of this disease.
She urged that people dealing with livestock and sacrificial animals should be extra vigilant and also insisted that children should be kept away from the animals as much as possible. According to Dr Bushra Jamil, facilities to diagnose CCHF are only present at two places in Pakistan, Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi and National Institute of Health in Islamabad. She concluded that in case of high fever coupled with body or headache, bleeding from nose or mouth and nausea, people should visit the former.