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A layman’s guide to Congo virus

tick-640x425Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha are two abundantly celebrated Islamic festivals, and the latter one is due 13th of September this year.

Sacrificing in the way of God and helping the poor shouldn’t be our only concerns. This time however, a deadly virus has hit our country. The disease, called Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever is caused by Congo virus, which is carried by ticks. Yes, ticks!

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Now you must be getting worried being a gayen bakra freak! But there is no need to worry as we have got you covered. You just need to take care of few things and never forget; Precaution is better than treatment.

This deadly virus causes Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), and resides in the bodies of tiny insects called ‘ticks’ which when bite cattle or humans transfer the virus into their bodies. Virus remains in the bloodstream of animals for around seven days after infection, allowing other ticks to carry the virus upon a bite.

The fatality rate in reported cases is almost 40%.

POSSIBLE WAYS OF TRANSMISSION / CONTRACTION

The most common way of contracting the disease is through tick bites. Humans might get infected via direct contact with blood or tissues of infected animals, or via blood, secretions, organs or body fluids of other infected humans.

 

COMMON SYMPTOMS

Most prevalent symptoms are:

*Fever

*Muscle ache

*Dizziness

*Neck pain

*Backache

*Headache

*Photophobia (Insensitivity to light)

 

After the onset of symptoms, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and sore throat might be caused followed by depression and sleepiness. Movement of blood towards skin might cause Petechial rash (a kind of rash caused by bleeding into skin) on internal mucosal services, such as in the mouth or throat.  This development may cause ecchymosis (bruises, discoloration of skin).

 

I know the above matter sounds scary but then again, problems come with solutions. Although there is no proper vaccine available, take care of following precautions and hopefully you will be protected from the disease.

*Clothing*

Wear light coloured clothing with long sleeves, full pants and long stockings.

Use repellents to save yourself from ticks.

 

 

*With Animals*

Always wear gloves and face masks while visiting ‘Mandi’ or handling animals normally and/or during slaughtering. Before you buy an animal, make sure it is not infected with the virus. Look out for spoiled skin or dead skin portions if any. If you have any doubt over the health or wellbeing of animal, DON’T BUY IT. Spend a little more but purchase a healthy animal. You should also use insect killing sprays at the place where you keep your animals. Washing hands is highly recommended after touching animals.WhatsApp Image 2016-09-07 at 8.38.17 PM

 

 

*With infected humans*

You should try to avoid close contact with infected people, and wear gloves while taking care of them. Also, regularly wash hands after visiting ill people.

This information and the precautions should help you out please take care of yourself and your loved ones and incase of any symptom, visit nearest hospital for prompt clinical checkup.

Also, do not forget to share meat with needy ones this Eid as well.

Happy Eid in advance!

 

Written by Faizan Shahzad.

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