: Photo By News Lens Pakistan / Mohammad Umer
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
: Photo By News Lens Pakistan / Mohmmed Umer
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 center’s 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
: Photo By News Lens Pakistan / Mohammad Umer
Family attendants stand by a patient’s 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
: Photo By News Lens Pakistan / Mohammad Umer
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
: Photo By News Lens Pakistan / Mohammad Umer
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
: Photo By News Lens Pakistan / Mohammad Umer
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

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