Home News Stories Accountability Congo Virus – The Blight of Balochistan News StoriesAccountabilityMultimedia Congo Virus – The Blight of Balochistan By Matiullah Achakzai - November 10, 2015 1474 0 Family attendants outside the isolation ward at Fatimah Jinnah TB Sanatorium in Quetta, capital of the southwestern Balochochistan province. Even though the hospital is meant for TB patients, those diagnosed with Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) are also kept in quarantine at the isolation ward. When it comes to the Congo Fever, Balochistan never fails to be in the news. The disease is more prevalent in Baluchistan, but medical research shows it is spreading toward the south and west of the country. CCHF in Pakistan has a bi-annual surge, the first peak is between March and May and the second peak is between August and October.Photo by Mohammad Umer/News Lens Pakistan A patient of Congo fever in the isolation ward at Fatimah Jinnah TB Sanatorium in Quetta. The symptoms of the Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic (CCHF) can be sudden, says the US based Center for Disease Control (CDC) fact sheet on the disease available on centers website. Initial signs and symptoms include headache, high fever, back pain, joint pain, stomach pain, and vomiting. These can be accompanied by other common symptoms such as blood-shot eyes, a flushed face, raw throat, and petechiae (red or purple spots) on the palate. Symptoms may also include jaundice, and in severe cases, changes in mood and sensory perception.Photo by Mohammad Umer/News Lens Pakistan Family attendants stand by a patients bed at the Fatimah Jinnah TB Sanatorium in Quetta. Year after year, CCHF outbreak claims lives in the province where people breed sheep and goats for livelihood. The Congo virus is transferred to humans through a tick from infected animals. The incidence of infection with CCHF is particularly high around Eid-ul-Azha, the Muslim feast of sacrifice, when people handle cattle and come in contact with it. Photo by Mohammad Umer/News Lens Pakistan A man outside the isolation ward crying on losing a family member to CCHF. Doctors say there is little awareness about the deadly virus. Families bring patients at the last stage of the disease when there is little the medical staff can do to save them.Photo by Mohammad Umer/News Lens Pakistann A man stands looking at an awareness poster about CCHF at the Fatimah Jinnah TB Sanatorium in Quetta. According to the CDC fact sheet, 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. Photo by Mohammad Umer/News Lens Pakistan For a province with high prevalence of the virus, equipment and expertise for pathology tests to diagnose the virus are not locally available. Blood specimen has to be sent to Karachi and Islamabad, with reports taking as many as four to six days to arrive, whereas patients need immediate attention.Photo by Mohammad Umer/News Lens Pakistan Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Power Crisis in Punjab Pakistani televisions caught up in ‘obscenity’ debate Punjab Forensic Science Lab (PFSL) losing public confidence LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply Please enter your comment! Please enter your name here You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.