Officials of livestock department spray in a cow shed in Hazro after a man died of Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever on Saturday. — Dawn
Officials of livestock department spray in a cow shed in Hazro after a man died of Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever on Saturday. — Dawn

TAXILA: Officials of the district administration, including the health and livestock departments, were on their toes following the death of a man from Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) in the Hazro town of Attock on Saturday.

CCHF is a viral hemorrhagic disease that is transmitted to humans through contact with infected animals, mainly through the handling of livestock or their blood, tissue, or excrement. It can also be transmitted from human to human through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person.

According to the district health authorities, Mohammad Imran, 44, a native of Malla Kalan village in Union Council Haroon was admitted to a hospital in Rawalpindi on May 1 with the symptoms of CCHF. On May 3, his blood sample sent to the National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad confirmed that he was infected with the lethal disease. The patient died on Saturday.

As the district health authorities in Rawalpindi shared the information with their counterparts in Attock, the officials of the district administration adopted emergency measures to control the spread of the disease.

District Health Authority Chief Executive Officer Dr Asad Ismail confirmed that the man died of CCHF. He said after getting information from the provincial health authorities, the district health department immediately activated the Tehsil Rapid Response Team (TRRT) and the District Livestock Department. He said health teams also ensured safe burial of the deceased besides taking necessary steps for monitoring the condition of close contacts as per SOPs.

Deputy District Officer Health Hazro Dr Abdul Rasheed, when contacted, said a doctor from the Basic Health Unit Haroon after adopting safety measures physically checked all close contacts of the deceased. However, no sign of the disease was found among the close family members, including his wife, two daughters and three sons.

When contacted, Attock Livestock Department Additional Director Dr Abdul Hameed said that as soon as the department got information about the death of the man from CCHF, a team examined the whole area for any sort of tick presence but none was found.

Responding to a question, he said that the deceased was a farmer and had four cows as well as one buffalo at his home. However, no sign of the deadly disease was found in these cattle. He said preventive spray was also carried out on over 300 cattle in the area.

According to Assistant Commissioner Hazro Kamran Ashraf, the local administration imposed an emergency in the town. He said that in collaboration with the health and livestock departments, the administration was taking every step to stop the spread of the viral disease.

On the other hand, public health experts have warned of the risk of CCHFV due to large-scale movement of animals for the upcoming Eidul Azha. They urged people to make sure while buying sacrificial animals that there are no ticks on the animals’ bodies.

Published in Dawn, May 5th, 2024

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