First cases of Congo fever detected in country
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Last Updated: Thursday, January 20, 2011, 11:39
New Delhi: The fatal Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever which has claimed three lives in Gujarat has been reported in the country for the first time ever.

Caused by an animal tick-borne virus, Congo fever, has been confirmed in the samples of the three fatal cases at National Institute of Virology, Pune in blood as well as urine samples of the patients, health ministry officials said.

The Indian Council of Medical Research, however, has said that CCHF outbreaks can easily be controlled by proper hygiene and infection control measures in the hospitals where patients are admitted.

Similar precautions should be taken in the community specially while slaughtering animals from whose tissues the infection spreads to humans.

"After proper control measure, the outbreaks can be successfully handled locally," they said.

The CCHF virus is known to be transmitted among animals through ticks. It does not produce disease in animals but kills from 20 to 40 per cent of humans who catch the virus.

Typically, after a one to three day incubation period following a tick bite, flu-like symptoms appear, which may resolve after one week.

In upto 75 per cent of cases, however, signs of haemorrhage appear within 3-5 days of the onset of illness. Patients usually begin to recover after 9-10 days from symptom onset, but there could be mortality in some cases.

A team of specialists from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases has already been deputed to Gujarat.

The CCHF virus has earlier been reported from Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and Pakistan. There is serological evidence of CCHF infection being present in India in animals which however do not get the disease.

Those dead have been identified as Amina Momin (30) of Kolat village in Sanand taluka of the district, Dr Gagan Sharma and nurse Asha John of a private hospital in Ahmedabad, where Momin was admitted with high fever, abdominal pain and vomitting.

The Gujarat health department has begun surveillance in Kolat and nearby villages in the wake of the deaths.


First Published: Thursday, January 20, 2011, 11:39

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