Karachi reports its fourth Congo virus case

The number of Congo virus cases in Karachi have risen to four after another patient tested positive for the novel pathogen at Karachi’s Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC).

According to Dr Seemi Jamali – Executive Director JPMC, Waqas – a 31-year old resident of Lines Area Karachi, tested positive for Congo virus on Tuesday.

 Waqas was admitted to JPMC on August 10 on complains of fever and vomiting blood for more than a week.

This is the fourth Congo virus case to be reported in the metropolis – the first after Eid.

The development comes as 20 people were reported to have died from Congo virus in 2019 last year.

Congo Virus

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a widespread disease caused by a tick-borne virus (Nairovirus) of the Bunyaviridae family. The CCHF virus causes severe viral haemorrhagic fever outbreaks, with fatality rate of 10 – 40 per cent.

The hosts of the CCHF virus include a wide range of wild and domestic animals such as cattle, sheep and goats. Animals become infected by the bite of infected ticks and the virus remains in their bloodstream for about one week after infection, allowing the tick-animal-tick cycle to continue when another tick bites.

The CCHF virus is transmitted to people either by tick bites or through contact with infected animal blood or tissues during and immediately after slaughter, whereas human-to-human transmission can occur resulting from close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected persons.

Congo virus symptoms include fever, myalgia, (muscle ache), dizziness, neck pain and stiffness, backache, headache, sore eyes, photophobia (sensitivity to light),nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and sore throat.