Karachi under attack from deadly disease again

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Karachi under attack from Lethal disease :File Photo

Karachi seems to be under attack from deadly diseases,as three more people had fallen victim to the tick-borne Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF).

Pakistan Field Epidemiology & Laboratory Training Program (FELTP) officials said that August had proved to be the deadliest month with respect to deaths due to the CCHF in Karachi, claiming 10 lives this month alone, while 16 people had fallen victim to it so far this year.

“Muhammad Hussain, 52, a stockbroker by profession and a resident of Bombay Bazaar in Kharadar, was taken to the Aga Khan University Hospital on Saturday, August 24 on complaints of high-grade fever and bleeding from the nose and the mouth,” said a FELTP official. “He was placed in the ICU after he tested positive for the CCHF, but he died during treatment on Sunday.”

The health official said Hussain had interacted with sacrificial animals on the eve of Eidul Azha and probably contracted the lethal viral infection from some infected animal, adding that he was taken to the private hospital when his condition deteriorated and he died during treatment.

Experts say the CCHF is a lethal viral infection that is transmitted to humans from animals, especially cattle and livestock that have ticks carrying the lethal virus attached to their bodies.

Infected patients of the CCHF are kept in isolation wards to prevent other patients, doctors and paramedics from contracting the viral infection. The mortality rate is around 40 per cent, especially when the patients are brought late to tertiary-care health facilities.

A woman from the Pishin area of Balochistan — 54-year-old Zulhija Ammer — who was undergoing treatment for the CCHF at the AKUH since August 16, also died due to complications of the viral disease late on Sunday night.

Two more patients — 63-year-old Habibullah from the Awaran area of Balochistan and a 23-year-old from the Kala Board area of Karachi’s Malir Town — continue to struggle for their life at the AKUH after being tested positive for the CCHF.

Two more suspected patients of the CCHF are being kept in the isolation ward of a public hospital as their lab reports are being awaited so that appropriate treatment can be started because they have been presenting classic symptoms of the CCHF.

Karachi under attack from deadly disease again.