LAHORE    -    Public Health Experts have said that the risk of Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus (CCHFV), transmitted by biting a person with ticks on the skin of an infected animal had been increased. This was expressed by the experts, in an awareness seminar on Congo Hemorrhagic Fever, organised by the Institute of Public Health here on Friday. The participants of seminar were informed about the symptoms of Crimean Congo fever, precautionary measures and protective measures for doctors as well as nurses treating infected patients in the hospital (if any). The experts urged the people to be satisfied when buying sacrificial animals so that there would be no ticks on the animals/cattle bodies.

Experts said, “If the blood of an animal infected with Congo virus is mixed with a wound on a person’s hand/body, the virus could be transmitted to the person concerned, so it was important to be very careful when slaughtering animals so protect themselves from being stabbed/cut with a knife.”

They added that the symptoms of Congo hemorrhagic fever are very similar to dengue, but Congo virus is very dangerous for human life as it starts bleeding at very initial stage. Dr Sobia Qazi said that if any patient came to the hospital infected with Congo virus, the doctors, nurses and other staff deputed for treatment should treat the patient wearing full safety kit, so that they themselves could be protected from this deadly virus. She said that the affected patient should be kept in quarantine and all standard operating procedures (SoPs) should be strictly followed in the treatment of the patient.

Dr Saima Ayub said that by using disposable gloves while washing the meat, and by eating the meat cooked well, there was no risk of Congo fever and the cooked meat was completely healthy. She said that it was also the responsibility of animal keepers and animal handlers to spray anti-ticks chemical on animal’s body so that ticks might not stick to the skin of the animals which was equally dangerous to the lives of the buyers as well as the animals owners.

Acting Dean IPH said that the Institute of Public Health would continue to play its role in raising awareness about public health issues.

Professor of Infectious Diseases Dr Sobia Qazi, Acting Dean IPH Dr Saima Ayub and Senior Entomologist Asif Mehmood delivered lectures in the seminar. The seminar was attended by doctors and other staff of the institute.