In view of the large scale movement of sacrificial animals prior to Eidul Adha, Advisor to Punjab Chief Minister on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique has directed the Health Department and Livestock Department to implement a joint strategy to control Congo fever.
He directed officers of Livestock Department to ensure spray in cattle markets and sale points set up by the city district government.
He said this while presiding over a joint meeting of officers of Punjab Health Department and Livestock Department in Civil Secretariat. Health Secretary Jawad Rafique Malik, Punjab Health Director General Dr Zahid Pervaiz, Additional Secretary Health (Technical) Dr Salman Shahid, Director Health CDC Dr Ahmed Afifi, EDO Health Lahore Dr Zulfiqar Ali and officers of Livestock Department attended the meeting.
Giving a presentation on Congo virus, Dr Afifi said that Congo fever is spread through tics which are common on the skin of sheep and cows.
He said that Congo virus can also infect a person on contact with the blood and other secretions of infested animals. He said that mostly farmers and workers at animal markets are vulnerable to Congo virus but added that doctors, nurses and paramedics who treat the Congo fever patients are also at a risk so precautionary measures should be adopted.
According to medical experts, mortality rate in Congo fever cases is about 50 to 70 percent. DG Health said that the hospital staff and attendants engaged in the treatment of Congo fever patient are at risk, therefore, they should take all precautionary measures before going to the patient.
He said that the Health Department has issued necessary guidelines to the principals of medical colleges and medical superintendents of government hospitals for patient care. Moreover, self-protection kits have also been provided to the health facilities. King Edward Medical University Associate Professor Dr Somia Iqtidar said that the symptoms of Congo fever and dengue are very similar but dengue virus can only be transmitted through dengue mosquito bite whereas Congo virus can infect any person through contact with Congo patients’ blood and secretions.