Balochistan, Sindh hospitals on 'high alert' to prevent spread of Congo virus

Balochistan, Sindh hospitals on 'high alert' to prevent spread of Congo virus

Quetta (Web Desk): The Balochistan government has declared a health emergency across the province to control possible spread of Congo virus.

With 44 Congo virus cases reported in the province so far, Caretaker Chief Minister Balochistan Mir Ali Mardan Khan Domki chaired a meeting in Quetta today in which the provincial government decided to impose a ban on private slaughterhouses in populated areas for two weeks and directed officials concerned to take all precautionary measures to overcome Congo virus.

Pakistan, off and on, has been witnessing the outbreak of Congo virus cases over the past many years. This year’s first fatality from the deadly virus emerged on May 7. Another case of the viral infection emerged on Oct 17 in Quetta.

The latest wave of the disease was detected on November 3, when 112 people, including duty doctors, paramedics and attendants, at the intensive care unit (ICU) of the Sandeman Hospital were infected.

The Balochistan government said 44 Congo virus patients belonged to Quetta.

It should be noted that a doctor diagnosed with the deadly Congo virus in Quetta died during his transportation to Karachi for treatment. 

The death of the doctor prompted the Sindh Health Department to issue an advisory alert to all the hospitals, while the Balochistan government a province-wide red alert.

At present, 11 suspected Congo virus patients are admitted to private hospital in Karachi, including five healthcare providers affected by novel Congo virus in Quetta’s Sandeman Hospital. 

CM Balochistan in his meeting also discussed to move more patients requiring specialised treatment to Karachi in consultation with relevant authorities. All affected medical personnel, including doctors, nurses, and paramedical staff, have already been relocated to Karachi.

The Sindh health department had set up an eight-bed isolation CCHF unit at the Sindh Government Infectious Disease and Research Centre.

This year has seen a surge in Congo virus cases with at least 44 patients admitted to the hospital, resulting in 17 fatalities.

The Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), or simply Congo virus, is a viral disease, which is transmitted to humans through tick bites or contact with infected animal blood or tissues.

The virus is primarily found in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and some parts of Europe.

Healthcare providers are vulnerable without infection control. So far, there is no vaccine for it.