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Congo virus outbreak contained?

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Following the first identified outbreak of Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever in India, reported from Ahmedabad, the Ahmedabad Mirror reports:

A team of top officials from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) and state health department met on Saturday to prepare guidelines for hospitals and agencies carrying out preventive measures for the Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF).

According to guidelines, any person showing symptoms of CCHF should be immediately admitted to hospitals with isolation wards. Healthcare staff of both private and government hospitals have been advised to wear personal protection equipment. PPE helps in maintaining the required barrier between a patient and the doctors.

The relatives and friends of CCHF victims have to remain under strict surveillance for 12 days.

Hospitals have been ordered to implement well-organised bio-medical waste management.

TOI reported from Gujarat:

The state government has formed a task force led by a specialist in infectious diseases, Dr Kamlesh Upadhyaya of Civil Hospital to tackle the challenge posed by viral fever identified as CCHF. The virus is reported to cause severe damages to the human system by affecting blood cell count and has a high mortality rate of 30 per cent.

“Preliminary report of the National Institute of Virology (NIV) has identified the virus as CCHF. We have formed a task force led by Dr Upadhyaya which will draw up a detailed protocol of prevention and treatment tonight which will be implemented in all hospitals “, health minister Jay Narayan Vyas said on Tuesday evening. Meanwhile, a marathon 38 teams of doctors including animal experts were pressed into action where they are combing each and every household falling in the five km radius of the place from where the first case of CCHF originated – Kolat village. Amina Momin , the first casualty of the virus belongs to this village and currently both her husband and brother are battling for life after having contracted the virus.

CCHF is apparently rare but widespread in the world, including in India. Here is an extract from the fact sheet put out by the US CDC:

How is CCHF spread and how do humans become infected?

Ixodid (hard) ticks, especially those of the genus, Hyalomma, are both a reservoir and a vector for the CCHF virus. Numerous wild and domestic animals, such as cattle, goats, sheep and hares, serve as amplifying hosts for the virus. Transmission to humans occurs through contact with infected animal blood or ticks. CCHF can be transmitted from one infected human to another by contact with infectious blood or body fluids. Documented spread of CCHF has also occurred in hospitals due to improper sterilization of medical equipment, reuse of injection needles, and contamination of medical supplies.

What are the symptoms of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever?

The onset of CCHF is sudden, with initial signs and symptoms including headache, high fever, back pain, joint pain, stomach pain, and vomiting. Red eyes, a flushed face, a red throat, and petechiae (red spots) on the palate are common. Symptoms may also include jaundice, and in severe cases, changes in mood and sensory perception. As the illness progresses, large areas of severe bruising, severe nosebleeds, and uncontrolled bleeding at injection sites can be seen, beginning on about the fourth day of illness and lasting for about two weeks.

The Hindu reports:

Even as a team of experts from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), Delhi, held on-the-spot study of the situation, Gujarat government officials have heaved a sigh of relief with all the 70-odd samples send to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, having tested negative for the rare Crimean-Congo Hae[morrhagic Fever virus].

The State government officials were under pressure after three deaths, including that of a doctor and a nurse, under mysterious circumstances earlier this week. The NIV identified the mystery virus as the very rare Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), which was found in Pakistan in 2009 and seen for the first time in India.

Almost the entire village of Kolat ā€” from where the first patient, Ameena Momin, was admitted in a private hospital in Ahmedabad ā€” was quarantined. The government was under pressure as the doctor and nurse who had attended on Ameena in the hospital, also died a few days later with similar symptoms.

About 70 samples of blood and saliva were collected from in Kolat villagers as well as some staff-members of the private hospital where Ameena was admitted, and sent to the Pune institute. The Health Minister, Jaynarayan Vyas, said here on Thursday that the report from the NIV had been received by the State government and all the samples were found negative for CCHF.


Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

January 23, 2011 at 4:27 am

3 Responses

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  1. As far as the disease’s mortality rate is concerned, it will be very difficult to control if it becomes an epidemic. However, only few are tested positive, so it is possible at this stage that it might be restricted to those few numbers only. However, public should be educated on the hygiene and do-don’t for such deadly virus control. The news posted here should also make sure that people who read these also get some knowledge on how to avoid it.

    Navin Bhutada

    January 24, 2011 at 5:14 am

    • More information in the link provided to the US CDC in the main article.

      Arhopala Bazaloides

      January 24, 2011 at 12:56 pm

      • Thanks, I had missed that.

        Navin Bhutada

        January 24, 2011 at 1:25 pm

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