Byline: Riaz Akbar - Wah Cantt
APROPOS the editorial 'Congo virus' (Aug 26). Every year, in the lead up to Eidul Azha we start hearing about the spread of Congo virus.
This happens because of the lack of precautions taken at cattle markets. Since the fever is infectious, people visiting cattle markets or selling cattle should take precautionary measures such as keep the cattle area clean, ensuring you are covered fully before going to a market, wash hands thoroughly and avoiding direct contact with the animals.
The government should have awareness sessions before Eid where people can understand basics such as what is the Congo virus?
A simple explanation would be: Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a viral disease. Its symptoms may include fever, muscle pains, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, and bleeding into the skin. Onset of symptoms is less than two weeks following exposure. Complications may include liver failure. According to the World Health Organisation, the virus is primarily transmitted to people from ticks and livestock animals. Human-to-human transmission can occur resulting from close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected persons.
There is no vaccine available for either people or animals.
Following infection by a tick bite, the incubation period is usually one to three days, with a maximum of nine days. The incubation period following contact with infected blood or tissues is usually five to six days, with a documented maximum of 13 days. The onset of symptoms is sudden, with fever, myalgia, (muscle ache), dizziness, neck pain and stiffness, backache, headache, sore eyes and photophobia (sensitivity to light).
There may be nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and sore throat early on, followed by sharp mood swings and confusion. After two to four days, the agitation may be replaced by sleepiness, depression and lassitude, and the abdominal pain may localize to the upper right quadrant, with detectable hepatomegaly (liver enlargement).