Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) commonly known as Congo fever has taken the lived of at least seven persons while four others have been affected in Rajkot, Gujarat.
The state health department said one person has been shifted to a hospital in Ahmedabad, as he was critical, whilst other three have been admitted to a hospital in Rajkot.
CCHF is a viral disease that spreads through tick bite. The virus infects wild as well as domestic animals and livestock through tick bites. The virus is transmitted to humans when they come in direct contact with blood or tissues from infected animals or bites of infected ticks.
General symptoms of CCHF are high fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, nausea, stomach pain and loose motions. The patient with this disease may suffer from severe bleeding, jaundice, and convulsions, which may later lead to coma.
The disease is common in Eastern Europe as well as parts of central Asia, Africa, the Middle East and southern Europe.
Local authorities have alerted hospitals to take extra precautions with patients reporting symptoms of the disease.
"Health department and district department is vigilant. Whatever action is required is being taken. The hospitals which are getting the cases of Congo fever, are keeping a watch the contacts of the patients. If it is a fever case, then they collect and send samples of those people." said Pankaj Rathore of the state municipal corporation's health department.
Due to the sudden outbreak of Congo Fever, health officials have been collecting blood samples from nearby villages in the district and sending them to the National Institute of Virology in Maharashtra for further investigations. The reports are awaited.
Dr. Ravi Hirwani said: "Congo Hemorrhagic is a type of fever which occurs due to a kind of virus. A lot of precautions have been taken for its treatment. Hospitals have various facilities for patients suffering from Congo fever. There is an isolation ward for the patients, individual staff cares for the patient, and doctor treating the patient should be dedicated."
Reportedly, medical teams and local public health centres have found 32 animal samples positive with CCHF virus. The teams are taking anti-tick measures within a radius of five kilometres from the village.
CCHF first appeared in the Crimea in 1944, and was later named as Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic fever, as it was commonly found in Democratic Republic of Congo.