NIH issues advisory on Congo fever, COVID-19 for Eidul Azha
PESHAWAR: The National Institute of Health (NIH) on Wednesday issued advisory aimed taking timely preventive measures to control the Congo fever and novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for the upcoming Eidul Azha.
According to NIH, the Field Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Division (FEDSD), issued an advisory regarding Prevention and Control of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) and COVID-19, forthcoming event of Eidul Azha.
It said that Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever is caused by a tick-borne virus (Nairovirus) of the Bunyaviridae family with the case fatality rate ranging from 10-40 per cent.
The CCHF virus can be transmitted to people either by tick bites or through contact with infected animal or its blood or tissues.
According to the advisory, the movement of sacrificial animals ahead of Eidul Azha significantly carries the risk of CCHF disease transmission due to increased human-animal interaction.
Visit at crowded places, direct contact with infectious materials and animals in the markets, the risk of COVID-19 transmission are also expected to rise. This advisory aimed to alert different stakeholders including the human and animal healthcare providers to take timely steps for the prevention and control of CCHF and COVID-19, it added.
The advisory said that there is currently no vaccine available for CCHF so people should focus on instructions to prevent and control of the disease.
It said that during visit to cattle markets, use full sleeves and light colored cloths, gloves, face mask, hand sanitizers and manage social distancing.
It asked to use hand washing and hand sanitization items to disinfect and clean hands and avoid all crowded places including large family gathering during Eid and sacrifice of animals.
It also said to wash hands thoroughly with soap after coming in contact with animal or its blood.
Moreover, the NIH has also issued its 48th Seasonal Awareness and Alert Letter (SAAL) for epidemic-prone infectious diseases in Pakistan.
In this letter, NIH exhibited patterns of high priority communicable diseases including Cholera, Coronavirus diseases (COVID-19), CCHF, Dengue, Leishmaniasis, Malaria, Measles, Polio and Typhoid XDR.
These diseases are predicted to be on high alert during said season. It also contains detailed introduction of diseases, case definitions, infectious agents, modes of transmission, case management and prevention.
The main purpose of SAAL is to alert all concerned health authorities and professionals at all levels and to facilitate them for timely and efficient response to the outbreaks and epidemics.
This letter is developed for summer monsoon season from June to September, 2020. NIH advised the federal, provincial and district health departments as well as other stakeholders to take keep a continuous watch on the anticipated seasonal public health threats and taking of all preventive or curative measures in this context.
To facilitate the stakeholders, the requisite technical guidelines and awareness material regarding infectious diseases along with Seasonal Awareness Alert Letter (SAAL) and CCHF Advisory are also available at the NIH website: www.nih.org.pk. - APP