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Pakistan: 2023 Congo Fever - three doctors have died + one paramedic

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  • #16

    Five doctors among 8 new cases of Congo virus in Quetta
    Outbreak of unknown pathogens spread in ICU of government hospital in Quetta
    Nov 04, 2023

    ​Eight more cases of Congo virus have been reported in Quetta, out of which five are doctors.

    On the other hand, an outbreak of unknown pathogens has spread in the intensive care unit of a government hospital in the Balochistan capital.

    According to a spokesperson for the Balochistan Health Department Integrated Health Monitoring and Emergency Response Unit, sixteen medical staff members have been affected due to the outbreak of the pathogens in the ICU of the Civil Sandeman Hospital in Quetta. Those affected are being treated after being shifted to a separate ward.

    According to the spokesman, the symptoms of the pathogen include the sudden onset of severe pain in the body. A high fever with stiffness and chills are also among its symptoms.

    In addition, mild respiratory symptoms, decreased platelet count, and lymphopenia are also among its symptoms.​..


    • #17
      Balochistan issues red alert as Congo virus claims 16 lives

      Urgency of the situation was underscored by the tragic death of a doctor

      | SAMAA WEB DESKNov 05, 2023​

      In a stern response to the alarming surge in Congo virus cases, the Balochistan government has declared a red alert, with the virus having claimed the lives of 16 individuals in the province.


      The urgency of the situation was underscored by the tragic death of a doctor who had been diagnosed with the Congo virus in Quetta.

      According to the spokesperson for the young doctors, the patient passed away while being transported to Karachi for medical treatment.

      The Fatima Jinnah Hospital in Quetta has been inundated with 41 patients afflicted by the Congo virus this year, and tragically, 16 of them have lost their lives to the disease.



      • #18

        QUETTA: The Balochistan government on Sunday issued a red alert over alarming situation of Congo virus fever in the province that has claimed 16 lives so far including senior forensic scientist.

        The government sprang into action following the death of senior forensic scientist Dr Ashraf Tahir on Sunday, who was diagnosed with the Congo virus in Quetta.

        Caretaker Chief Minister Mir Ali Mardan Domki has directed the province’s health and livestock departments to take immediate steps to curb the disease.

        The chief minister has instructed for conveying immediate information about the virus to general public. He also directed for anti-viral spray at dairy farms.

        This new type of Congo virus fever could become deadly for an infected person, Domki said.

        “In case of symptoms of Congo virus, the patient should be provided emergency medical guidance,” Balochistan CM said.



        • #19

          Quetta doctor dies of Congo virus enroute Karachi
          Faiza Ilyas Published November 6, 2023 Updated about 3 hours ago

          KARACHI: A doctor from Quetta, who contracted the Congo virus, lost his life while being moved to Karachi for treatment, according to sources.

          The death prompted the government of Balochis­tan to issue an alert to the departments concerned to check the spread of virus in the province.

          The deceased was among the 11 healthcare providers who were infected after an outbreak of Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) in the Sandeman Provincial Hospital, as per a Balochistan health department official.

          According to sources, Dr Shukrullah Langove was being moved to Karachi by road when he died on the way.

          Dr Hafeez Kakar, a representative of Quetta’s Young Doctors’ Asso­ciation, claimed Dr Lang­ove’s life could have been saved if the Balochistan health department had taken swift action and shifted him to Karachi through an air ambulance.

          The staff has been shifting ailing healthcare providers to Karachi on a self-help basis, Dr Kakar claimed.

          Talking about the virus origin, the doctor said two CCHF patients were recently treated at the hospital, and the healthcare providers contracted the infection from them.​..


          • #20
            Pakistan: CCHF Dispatches From Balochis­tan


            Directorate of Public Relations Balochistan


            Yesterday, when I wrote about the death of a young doctor from CCHF - and the infection of at least 4 other HCWs - in the western province of Balochistan, I was hard pressed to find any mention of the outbreak on official government websites.

            Over the past 24 hours, that has changed, with government officials taking to social media to warn about the outbreak.

            The most detailed report I've found comes from the Facebook page of the Directorate of Public Relations Balochistan. I've posted the translated statement below:

            A High-level meeting chaired by Caretaker Chief Minister Balochistan Mir Ali Mardan Khan Domki on the situation of Congo virus

            Health Emergency imposed in Balochistan, Caretaker Chief Minister Mir Ali Mardan Khan Domki

            44 cases of Congo virus have been reported in Balochistan, Caretaker Chief Minister Mir Ali Mardan Khan Domki
            Two more health care workers of the Department of Health affected by Congo virus are being transported to Karachi by air ambulance today, Caretaker Chief Minister Balochistan

            In contact with the Sindh government. Arrangements for treatment have been completed in other standard private hospitals including Agha Khan Hospital, Caretaker Chief Minister Balochistan

            Standard treatment of all the victims is being done at the expense of the Balochistan Government, Caretaker Chief Minister Balochistan

            The Livestock Department should immediately start disinfectant spraying in cattle markets across the province. Chief Minister Balochistan instructs.

            All Divisional Commissioners, DHOs and Livestock Officers should keep a close eye on the situation, directing Caretaker Chief Minister Balochistan

            Private altar houses banned for two weeks in Quetta under section 144, decision in the meeting

            Individual private altars will be banned for two weeks, Balochistan Government

            Animals can be slaughtered in altars located away from the population, decision

            Balochistan government declared Dr. Shukrullah Jan as a martyr and announced the provision of all benefits to the bereaved, decision in the meeting.

            The government also approved the provision of funds required for RBC and extension of contract employees of public health laboratories, decision in the meeting

            According to preliminary evidence, the virus spread from a patient belonging to Harnai in Civil Hospital, briefing by the Health Department to the Caretaker Chief Minister.
            ward of Civil Hospital is sealed while other departments were disinfected under special measures, Health Secretary Abdullah Khan

            The situation is under control, further spread of Congo virus has been prevented, Balochistan Health Department

            This patient was brought to Civil Hospital Quetta on October 22, briefing

            Congo virus report of this patient came positive on October 25, briefing

            Through the trace and track process, 112 people samples including doctors, medical staff, admitted patients and their attendants of Civil Hospital have been obtained. Briefing by Abdullah Khan, Secretary Health Department Balochistan

            The affected ward of Civil Hospital is sealed while other departments were disinfected under special measures, Health Secretary Abdullah Khan

            The situation is under control, further spread of Congo virus has been prevented, Balochistan Health Department


            Sporadic cases of Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever are not uncommon in Pakistan. Three weeks ago (before this latest outbreak) one local media outlet reported that - in the first ten months of 2023 - Balochistan had recorded 41 CCHF infections, and 15 deaths.

            Since we are lacking case line lists, and media reports don't tell us when recent cases were detected, it is difficult to determine how many new cases there really are. I've seen media reports of 7 or 8 HCWs (doctors, nurses, and paramedics) infected, making the number mentioned above (44) a bit perplexing.

            The one other official document I've been able to find (see below) was issued by the health department on Saturday, which orders that all CCHF patients be transferred to the isolation unit at the Fatima Jinnah Institute of Chest Diseases in Quetta.

            Hopefully we'll get a more detailed report, either from local officials - or the WHO - in the days ahead. In the meantime, a sampling of some of the other messaging coming from local officials in Balochistan.

            Although nosocomial (and less often, household) human-to-human spread of the virus have frequently been reported, community spread is primarily through infected ticks or contact with infected animals.

            The WHO's fact sheet on CCHF includes:

            23 May 2022
            Key facts
            • The Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus causes severe viral haemorrhagic fever outbreaks.
            • CCHF outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 40%.
            • The virus is primarily transmitted to people from ticks and livestock animals. Human-to-human transmission can occur resulting from close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected persons.
            • CCHF is endemic in Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and Asia, in countries south of the 50th parallel north.
            • There is no vaccine available for either people or animals.

            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 a case fatality rate of 10–40%.

            CCHF is endemic in Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and Asian countries south of the 50th parallel north – the geographical limit of the principal tick vector.
            The Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus in animals and ticks

            The hosts of the CCHF virus include a wide range of wild and domestic animals such as cattle, sheep and goats. Many birds are resistant to infection, but ostriches are susceptible and may show a high prevalence of infection in endemic areas, where they have been at the origin of human cases. For example, a former outbreak occurred at an ostrich abattoir in South Africa. There is no apparent disease in these animals.

            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. Although a number of tick genera are capable of becoming infected with CCHF virus, ticks of the genus Hyalomma are the principal vector.

            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. The majority of cases have occurred in people involved in the livestock industry, such as agricultural workers, slaughterhouse workers and veterinarians.

            Human-to-human transmission can occur resulting from close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected persons. Hospital-acquired infections can also occur due to improper sterilization of medical equipment, reuse of needles and contamination of medical supplies.

            (Continue . . . .)

            I'll update this story if new details emerge. In the meantime you'll find ongoing coverage in this FluTrackers thread.

            All medical discussions are for educational purposes. I am not a doctor, just a retired paramedic. Nothing I post should be construed as specific medical advice. If you have a medical problem, see your physician.


            • #21
              November 06, 2023

              Government of Balochistan has declared a health emergency across the province to control possible spread of Congo virus.

              This was announced in a meeting chaired by Caretaker Chief Minister Balochistan Mir Ali Mardan Khan Domki in Quetta today.

              The meeting decided to impose a ban on private abattoirs in populated areas for two weeks.

              The meeting directed officials concerned to take all precautionary measures to overcome Congo virus.



              • #22

                Congo virus claims another life, sparks urgent measures in cities
                Saleem Shahid | Faiza Ilyas Published November 7, 2023 Updated about an hour ago

                QUETTA/KARACHI: The Congo virus situation in Quetta has taken a serious turn as another patient lost his life at Fatima Jinnah Chest Hospital on Monday, while five more healthcare providers affected by Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) virus in Quetta’s Sandeman Hospital were shifted to a private hospital in Karachi.

                This brings the total number of patients brought to Karachi to 11.

                “It was 18th death due to Congo virus in Quetta during last few months,” a senior official of the health department told Dawn, adding that the victims include health providing staff who were infected while providing treatment to the patients brought to Fatima Jinnah Chest Hospital, Quetta.

                The Sindh health department’s spokesperson said 11 Congo fever patients from Quetta had been admitted to Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) over the past two days. He pointed out that while the hospital was carrying its own procedures for diagnosis, only those healthcare providers who tested positive for CCHF were being sent to Karachi.

                “The CCHF outbreak has created panic and scare back at the Quetta hospital and a lot of concern in Karachi, especially after an ailing doctor being brought to the city for treatment died on the way,” Sindh health department spokesperson Shabbir Ali Babar said, while referring to his telephonic conversation with a Balochistan health department official.

                The Sindh health department had set up an eight-bed isolation CCHF unit at the Sindh Government Infectious Disease and Research Centre.​..


                • #23

                  Congo Virus: 3 doctors died, 2 nurses and two employees were transferred to Karachi, and the number of victims rose to 18. GeoTv News
                  By Muhammad -
                  November 8, 2023

                  Irfan Abbasi: The Congo virus spread rapidly in some areas of Quetta and Balochistan, and the Kot Sandman Hospital doctor who was infected with the Congo virus died, and twelve doctors were infected with the Congo virus. The condition of two doctors and two staff members is said to be serious and they have been transferred to a private hospital in Karachi. The number of confirmed cases of Congo virus in Quetta has risen to 18, while the number of suspected cases of infection with the virus has risen. It rose to 80.

                  Sources from the Ministry of Health in Balochistan say that the death of this doctor forced the Balochistan government to issue an alert to relevant institutions to prevent the spread of the virus.

                  According to Balochistan Health Ministry officials, the deceased was one of the 11 health workers who contracted Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus at Sandman Regional Hospital after the outbreak.

                  According to sources, Dr. Shahrukh Lungu was transported by road to Karachi, where he died.

                  A day before that, Dr. Shukrullah died of infection with the Congo virus.

                  Dr. Shukrullah, a victim of the Congo virus, died in a Karachi hospital on Sunday.

                  According to a spokesman for the Ministry of Health, the doctor was diagnosed with the Congo virus three days ago. He was taken to a hospital in Karachi, where he died.

                  Dr. Shukrullah serves at the Civil Hospital, Quetta. He was among eight hospital staff, including five doctors, who were diagnosed with the Congo virus. The officials were undergoing treatment in a hospital in Karachi.

                  It should be noted that a new case of Congo virus infection was reported in Quetta on October 17, bringing the total number of cases this year to 42. The virus was discovered in a 35-year-old woman who was admitted to Fatima Jinnah Hospital. So far, eight suspected Congolese victims have been brought forward in Quetta and some other areas, and are being isolated. Eighteen people have been confirmed infected with the virus.​..


                  • #24

                    Health Department, GoB



                    A public massage for all if any one or your beloved ones who had visited Sendaman Hospital Quetta and feeling the following symptoms Please do contact your nearest health facility or call on helpline as given below for seeking proper investigation and treatments and advice.

                    Click image for larger version

Name:	pakistancchf.png
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                    • #25
                      I am trying to find another source to confirm the suspected count of 275 and the confirmed number of 73.

                      Health of four Congo virus-stricken doctors worsens

                      Saleem Shahid Published November 8, 2023

                      Updated about 2 hours ago

                      QUETTA: The fight against the Congo virus has intensified in Karachi as the health of four physicians, including a female doctor in urgent need of platelets, worsened on Tuesday, Balochistan’s caretaker health minister said.

                      The medics were shifted from Balochistan to a private hospital in Karachi for specialised treatment.


                      Out of 275 individuals suspected of carrying the virus, 73 have been confirmed, a senior official of the health sector told Dawn.

                      He said that 12 patients — comprising nine doctors, a nurse, a pathologist and a paramedic — were under treatment in Karachi’s Agha Khan Hospital. Data received from Karachi confirmed that 12 Congo virus-infected patients were being treated at the hospital. Of them, 10 tested positive, one negative while the result of one patient was awaited.

                      Faiza Ilyas in Karachi also contributed to this report

                      Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2023

                      Balochistan minister says ‘unjustified’ delay at checkpoint exacerbated Dr Langove’s condition, leading to his death.


                      • #26

                        Congo fever claims another life in Karachi
                        Faiza Ilyas Published November 9, 2023 Updated 2 minutes ago

                        Quetta: Two more Congo fever patients are being shifted to a private hospital in Karachi through an Edhi air ambulance from Quetta airport.—Dawn

                        KARACHI: Another patient suffering from Crimean-Congo Haemo­rrhagic Fever (CCHF) died at a private hospital on Wednesday, raising the death toll during the past four days to two, sources told Dawn.

                        The day also saw the shifting of two patients from Quetta to Karachi through an air ambulance operated by the Edhi welfare service.

                        The deaths, they said, were reported at the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) where four more patients affected by the tick-borne virus were brought.

                        “The total number of patients including both suspected and those tested positive for CCHF is now 16. Of them, 12 have tested positive for the disease while lab results of four patients are awaited,” AKUH official Shabbir Alam said, adding that the condition of one patient was critical.

                        “Two patients, one of them tested negative for CCHF and the other who recovered from the infection, have been discharged,” he added.

                        While Mr Alam decli­n­­ed to comment when ask­ed if the deceased was a healthcare provider who was lately shifted from Quetta to Karachi, sources said he was not a healthcare provider.

                        The deceased was identified as 35-year-old Mir Waiz Khan, a resident of Pishin, they added.

                        Asked about the identity of the deceased, a spokesperson of Baloch­istan health department expressed his unawareness about the cases and said only Dr Shakrullah had so far died of Congo fever in recent days.

                        “We are told that two doctors and one staff nurse are in critical condition at AKUH,” said Dr Wasim Baig, media coordinator of the health department.​..


                        • #27
                          Quetta’s private slaughterhouses banned as Congo cases surge
                          QUETTA: In view of rising Congo virus cases, the Balochistan government has imposed a ban on private slaughterhouses in Quetta, declaring a health emergency in the province.

                          The decisions were taken in a meeting convened by Caretaker Chief Minister Ali Mardan Domki, highlighting the gravity of the situation and revealing a total of 44 reported cases

                          of the Congo virus in the province.

                          The meeting slapped a temporary ban on private slaughterhouses in Quetta for a period of two weeks under Section 144, ordering relocation of animal slaughtering activities to designated slaughterhouses situated away from urban areas.


                          The provincial livestock department received instructions to promptly initiate the disinfection process in all cattle markets, while divisional commissioners, district health officers (DHOs), and livestock officers were instructed to monitor the situation closely.

                          Furthermore, two more healthcare workers infected with the Congo virus are scheduled for immediate transfer to Karachi via air ambulance.​



                          • #28
                            I really do not have a good grasp on the numbers for this outbreak.

                            Quetta pharmacist with Congo virus moved to Karachi
                            • 05:34 PM, 9 Nov, 2023

                            QUETTA: A pharmacist from the Quetta Civil Hospital, who was diagnosed with Congo virus fever, has been shifted to Karachi for further treatment.

                            Dr Arif, the spokesperson for the Young Doctors Association (YDA), revealed that the number of patients moved to Karachi for Congo virus treatment has now risen to nine.

                            He further indicated that two more patients are slated for transfer, deploring the lack of substantial government role in addressing the crisis.



                            • #29

                              Health Department, GoB
                              On The Instruction of Health Secretary to all health professionals about awareness on precautions of Congo virus, MS DHQ Hospital chaman alert the Old DHQ Hospital emergency staff to maintain PPE during duty time.




                              • #30
                                Another Congo fever patient breathes his last in Karachi


                                November 10, 2023

                                KARACHI-Another patient suffering from Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever, who was shifted to Karachi from Quetta, died at a private hospital on Thursday.
                                As many as 16 patients have been shifted to Karachi from Quetta during the last few days and two of them including Dr Shakrullah had now died.
                                The latest victim was 30-year-old Mirwaiz Khan, a resident of Pishin, who was also brought to Karachi from Quetta in an air ambulance.
                                Two of the remaining Congo fever patients have been discharged from the private hospital in Karachi while 12 remaining are still under treatment....

                                with 21 deaths recorded last year and 20 mortalities this year so far.