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

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  • Shiloh

    Man dies of Congo fever
    The Newspaper's Staff Reporter
    Published November 26, 2023 Updated about 10 hours ago

    KARACHI: A 52-year-old man on Saturday died of the Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) a day after he tested positive for the virus.

    It’s the fourth death from the disease in the city. Three of the deceased, including a doctor, were among the 16 patients who were shifted to Karachi from Quetta following an outbreak of CCHF at a hospital there.

    “His life could have been saved had the doctors who treated him for many days immediately referred him to a tertiary care hospital after the patient developed haemorrhage,” JPMC’s deputy executive director Dr Yahya Tunio said...​

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  • Shiloh

    Deadly disease: Eighteenth Congo virus case reported in Karachi
    By News Desk
    November 24, 2023 09:26 PM​

    Yet another case of Congo virus has surfaced in Karachi, taking the reported count of affected patients to 18 this year, reported the 24NewsTV channel.

    According to a spokesperson of the Sindh Health Department, a 55-year-old man suffering from Congo Crimean Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) was admitted to Jinnah Hospital two days ago. He is a resident of Orangi Town, Tanoli Colony, Karachi.

    The laboratory tests, which were sent to the Aga Khan University Hospital, confirmed on Friday that the patient had contracted the Congo virus.

    Luckily, the patient's condition is slightly better.​..

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  • Treyfish
    Nine Congo fever patients discharged from hospital

    The Newspaper's Staff Reporter Published November 12, 2023
    Updated about 3 hours ago
    KARACHI: Nine Congo fever patients have been discharged from a private hospital following their successful recovery over the week, officials said.

    They were among the 16 patients who were brought from Quetta to the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) following an outbreak of Congo fever at the Sandeman Provincial Hospital since Nov 5.

    “Currently, five patients are under treatment at the hospital. Of them, three are in critical condition,”
    officials representing the hospital’s communications department shared.

    Two deaths had been reported so far, they added.

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  • Michael Coston
    Updating The CCHF Outbreak In Balochistan (Pakistan)

    Health Department, Balochistan


    Detains on the nosocomial outbreak of CCHF (Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever) in western Pakistan (see previous posts here, and here) remain scant - with messaging from local officials primarily focused on reassuring the public and providing prevention advice - but yesterday another HCW death was reported by the health department; that of a 35 y.o. paramedic.

    Most of what we `know' comes from local media sources (see ongoing coverage in this FluTrackers thread), but reports are often lacking in detail, and sometimes contradictory.

    A quote from a media report yesterday speaks to this vagueness.

    Officials in the health department said around 17 patients had been brought to Karachi from Quetta a few days back, of whom two persons, including a doctor, expired during treatment at a private hospital while some of them were discharged after they recovered.

    Other media reports speak of 4 deaths this week, not two.

    The most recent update (Nov 10th) posted on the Facebook page of the Health Department, Balochistan provides the following (translated) narrative, which unfortunately provides no numbers, or trends, for this outbreak.

    Caretaker Health Minister Balochistan Dr. Amir Muhammad Jogizai, Secretary Health Balochistan Abdullah Khan and Chief Planning Officer Ghulam Rasool Zahri visited doctors, pharmacists, staff nurses and paramedics under treatment affected by Congo virus at Agha Khan Hospital Karachi.

    Directions issued to transfer the medical staff affected by Congo virus to Agha Khan Hospital Karachi at government expense for better treatment and treatment immediately from day one. Concerned Health Minister Balochistan Dr. Amir Muhammad Jogizai

    Caretaker Health Minister Balochistan Dr. Amir Muhammad Jogizai and Secretary Health Balochistan Abdullah Khan also met with doctors of Agha Khan Hospital Karachi who treated Congo affected doctors and medical staff.

    The administration issued instructions to Agha Khan Hospital Karachi not to leave any stone unturned in providing medical facilities to the doctors and medical staff affected by Congo. Caretaker Health Minister Balochistan Dr. Amir Muhammad Jogizai

    Medical staff of Agha Khan Hospital Karachi is taking better care of patients infected with the virus. Regards, Health Minister, Balochistan

    All affected patients are being treated completely on government expenses at Agha Khan Hospital Karachi. Caretaker Health Minister Balochistan Dr. Amir Muhammad Jogizai

    Caretaker Health Minister Balochistan and Secretary Health Balochistan also prayed for the recovery of Congo affected doctors and medical staff

    God willing, very soon the doctors and medical staff affected by Congo will recover and be with their families. Secretary Health Balochistan Abdullah Khan

    In the meeting, young doctors demanded the Caretaker Health Minister Balochistan that all the doctors who are present to take care of Congo-affected doctors and medical staff should be tested for PCR at Agha Khan Hospital Karachi at the expense of the Balochistan Government.

    Caretaker Health Minister Balochistan promised to conduct PCR test of these doctors at Agha Khan Hospital Karachi at the expense of Balochistan Government.

    Health emergency is in effect throughout the province. Effective measures have been taken to prevent the spread of Congo virus. Secretary Health Balochistan

    The Health Department is fully active to control the epidemic of Congo virus. Congo virus will be eradicated soon from Balochistan. Secretary Health Balochistan Abdullah Khan

    Slightly more informative, the local health department posted the following update yesterday as a graphic on Twitter/X. Since it is difficult to read, I've extracted the text passages and posted them below the graphic.

    The only solid data provided is 17 positive cases have been identified to date, and 3 deaths had occurred (as of Nov 9th).


    CCHF is endemic in Balochistan and confirmed cases have been sporadically reported from around 20 districts since 2000. The clinical data recorded have shown cases mostly reported from the rural and bordering areas with Afghanistan, where animal herding is a common source of domestic economy. Low prevalence of preventive measures due to lack of awareness on the mode of transmission and correct animal herding have resulting in sporadic outbreaks The risk of transmission increases during Eid-Ul-Adha: when the cattle are transferred to densely populate urban area for business purposes. Similarly, the risk of human to human transmission at household level and hospital acquired infections are reported variably. The contributing factors include lack of community awareness and sub- optimal infection prevention and control measure in the health facilities

    SITUATION Summary of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) Outbreak in Balochistan, Pakistan


    On 3 November, a Healthcare acquired CCHF infection was reported from the medical ICU at Sandeman Provincial Hospital Quetta, affecting 17 people so far as a whole and resulting in the death of 3.
    Out of 230 so far tested samples, 17 were laboratory positive


    08 samples are being analyzed by PHL Lab today, wherein 01 got positive 02 positive cases tested cases traced and isolated in Fatima Jinnah Hospital Investigation of both the positive cases, contact tracing done and quarantined A second wave of call started today to the suspected cases to confirm for any symptoms, however no family reported any symptoms


    The CCHF outbreak in Balochistan is a serious public health concern: Department of Health is taking steps to contain the outbreak. Now as per the results it is necessary that the public shall adopt precautionary measures. Moreover, in case anyone develops the symptoms then he/she should visit FJC&G Hospital for screening.

    • WHO has provided 50000 masks for hospitals
    • NIH team has arrived along with lab kitsfor support of the investigation team
    • UNICEF has provided 30000 gloves, 300 face shields, 300 hand sanitizers, and 1500 face masks
    • Jhpiego conducted a training session Infection Prevention & Control (IPC) for healthcare providers at BMC hospital

    Earlier this year The Lancet reported on a large, nosocomial outbreak of CCHF in Afghanistan (see The largest reported outbreak of CCHF in hospital settings: lessons from Kandahar, Afghanistan) where - out of 48 suspected cases - 14 tested positive in less than a week.

    The authors warned `. . . that case numbers of Crimean–Congo haemorrhagic fever will increase drastically in health-care settings if infection prevention and control measures are not respected.'

    CCHF is currently concentrated primarily in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Balkans, but with an increasingly warmer climate, may expand its range in the years ahead. Just two weeks ago the ECDC reported on the detection of CCHF in ticks in Southern France.

    In 2019, in CDC: The 8 Zoonotic Diseases Of Most Concern In The United States,we looked at a joint CDC, USDA, DOI report on the top (n=56) zoonotic diseases of national concern for the United States.

    CCHF was ranked #15, well ahead of Nipah (#20), MERS-CoV (#27) and Monkeypox (#29). While CCHF is not a problem here in the United States today, that could change over time.

    Thus far, 7 genotypes have been described, and we've seen evidence of reassortment (see EID Journal Fatal Case of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Caused by Reassortant Virus, Spain, 2018), meaning that what we say about CCHF today may not hold true tomorrow.

    While not currently in the same league as novel flu or emerging coronaviruses, CCHF is capable of sparking significant, and deadly, localized epidemics.

    Which is why we keep a close watch on outbreaks such as we are seeing right now in Pakistan.

    Health Department, Balochistan #17,756 Detains on the nosocomial outbreak of CCHF (Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever ) in western Pakistan (se...

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  • Shiloh

    Congo fever claims life of paramedic from Quetta
    By M. Waqar Bhatti November 11, 2023

    A 35-year-old paramedic from Quetta died due to Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) at the Sindh Infectious Diseases Hospital (SIDH) at NIPA, Karachi, on Friday, officials said, adding that four people, including a doctor from Baloshitan, had died due to the tick-borne infectious disease in Karachi so far.

    “A 35-year old paramedic from Quetta, who was shifted to the SIDH Karachi in a precarious condition because of Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), died during treatment on Friday morning,” an official of the Sindh health department told the News.

    Following the outbreak of the Congo fever in Quetta, Sindh Caretaker Health Minister Dr Saad Khalid Niaz established a monitoring room at the Sindh Director General Health’s office and also ordered establishment of isolation wards at different health facilities in tertiary-care health facilities.

    “All required personnel protection equipment (PPE) should be made available to the healthcare providers at isolation wards while strict compliance with infection prevention and control guidelines should be followed at health facilities,” he said in his directives to control the Congo virus.

    Officials in the health department said around 17 patients had been brought to Karachi from Quetta a few days back, of whom two persons, including a doctor, expired during treatment at a private hospital while some of them were discharged after they recovered...

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  • Treyfish
    Quetta: Another case report of Congo virus in Fatima Jinnah Hospital
    November 09, 2023

    Another case of Congo virus has been reported at Fatima Jinnah Hospital in Quetta, Balochistan province.
    According to the sources of Fatima Jinnah Hospital, a Congo virus patient has been transferred from Kasi Road to Fatima Jinnah Hospital. This is the second case of Congo virus reported in Fatima Jinnah Hospital today.
    According to hospital sources, necessary medical assistance is being provided to Congo virus patients.
    According to hospital sources, the number of Congo virus cases reported at Fatima
    J​innah Hospital has increased to 48.

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  • Treyfish
    State of emergency as deadly Congo fever takes hold in western Pakistan

    Officials urgently track down health workers who may have been infected
    Security officials stand guard outside a ward where patients suffering from Congo virus are being treated, at a hospital in Quetta, Pakistan. EPA Muhammad Shahid
    Nov 09, 2023​
    Updated: November 09, 2023, 2:54 AM​​​​​​

    One doctor lost his life while at least 47 other people have been infected by Congo virus in Pakistan’s Balochistan province and authorities declare a health emergency in the area...
    Speaking to The National, Balochistan Minister for Health Dr Ameer Muhammad Jogezai said that the increasing case numbers were because of the nearby Afghan border.

    “These cases have been reported over the months. But this time the disease has hit headlines because it has also infected 12 medics, including doctors and paramedics,” he added....
    “The first case was a Congo virus patient coming from Pishin area to Quetta Civil Hospital for treatment on October 21 and the same patient later infected the hospital staff too,” he said.

    Dr Jogezai said that most people living in suburban areas of Balochistan outside Quetta city live alongside their cattle, which is why so many people were infected by the disease.

    One doctor, Shakur Ullah, died from the disease while four other doctors as well as paramedics have been admitted to Agha Khan Hospital in Karachi in a serious condition.
    ​..“Three hospital staffers, a chowkidar [security guard] and another administration employee fled the premises after suspecting they were also the Congo virus carriers. We conducted raids and got hold of them for treatment,” Dr Jogezai said...

    The minister said that he had learnt that Agha Khan Hospital may also face problems admitting more patients. But he said he was in contact with authorities in the adjacent Sindh province and a ward in the Sindh government’s Infectious Diseases Hospital has now been allocated for Congo virus patients.

    ​​​​​​Abdul Rehman, a resident of Quetta, said that people in the area were cautious, while local authorities sprayed chemicals to kill virus-carrying ticks.

    He saidthat in his house, his family had started using gloves while milking their cows.

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  • Treyfish
    Congo virus

    By News Desk
    November 10, 2023​

    ​​​​​​Balochistan is dealing with a massive outbreak of the Congo virus. Almost 20 deaths have been reported so far this year, including that of a doctor. Out of the 200 suspected cases, 73 have tested positive. Concerns are rising about the spread among healthcare workers, highlighting the need for better infection control and the use of protective gear. Collaboration between authorities in Balochistan and Sindh is crucial for safe patient transfers...​​​​

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  • Treyfish
    Congo Virus confirmed in Karachi, health dept takes precautionary measuresHealth authorities in Karachi have confirmed a case of the Congo virus in the city, prompting the Health Department to initiate precautionary measures. The infected individual's condition is reported to be stable, providing some relief amid concerns about the potentially deadly virus.

    This marks the fourth case of Congo virus in Sindh this year. The virus was recently confirmed among doctors at the Civil Hospital in Quetta, leading to heightened awareness and preventive efforts.

    The Sindh Health Department has issued an advisory to all hospitals in the province, instructing them to implement precautionary measures against the Congo virus. The advisory emphasizes the need for prompt identification and isolation of suspected cases, as well as the provision of necessary medical guidance...​​​​

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  • Treyfish
    Two Congo patients shifted to Karachi hospital

    by News desk

    2 mins ago

    in Karachi

    Two more Congo cases have been reported in Karachi, of which a patient tested positive and another one has symptoms of the tick-borne virus.

    Two Congo patients have been shifted to a private hospital in Karachi. Sources told ARY News that one of the patients tested positive while another patient’s report is yet to be received. Overall 16 patients have been hospitalised on the suspicions of contracting Congo virus, of which 12 patients tested positive and two deaths were reported due to the tick-borne virus.
    On Monday, a pharmacist of the Civil Hospital infected by Congo virus fever was shifted to Karachi. Young Doctors Association (YDA) spokesperson Dr Arif has said that the number of Congo virus patients shifted to Karachi for treatment has reached to nine. “Total 16 positive cases of Congo virus have surfaced till now and two more patients will be transferred to Karachi,” Dr Arif said.He complained that the government not tackling the matter seriously. Balochistan government issued red alert on Sunday over alarming situation of Congo virus fever in province that has claimed 16 lives.Caretak...

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  • Treyfish
    Congo-infected’ doctor died due to delay at check post: Balochistan minister

    Provincial health minister says Dr Shukarullah Langove's death occurred while he was being transported to Karachi
    Our Correspondent
    November 08, 2023​
    In a distressing turn of events, the Caretaker Balochistan Minister for Health, Dr Amir Muhammad Khan Jogezai, made a startling claim on Tuesday, stating that the death of a doctor infected with the Congo virus occurred due to an ambulance being halted at a checkpost by Coast Guard personnel in Winder for a routine inspection.

    The deceased doctor, Dr Shukarullah Langove, was en route to a Karachi hospital for further treatment at the time of this unfortunate incident, as conveyed by the minister during a press conference attended by health officials
    ​...The minister expressed his concern over the ambulance being detained under the pretext of a routine check, emphasising the urgency for ambulances to be given priority in order to promptly transport patients in life-threatening situations.....

    ..In the midst of this unfortunate situation, Jogezai provided an update on the health condition of four other doctors who had also contracted the deadly Congo virus. He stated that their condition remained unstable and had further deteriorated.

    These four individuals were also transported to Karachi for essential medical treatment, including a lady doctor in urgent need of platelets, as the minister mentioned.

    Jogezai assured the public that the government was mobilising all available resources to ensure the well-being and recovery of the patients currently under treatment. He stressed the rigorous enforcement of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued by the government after declaring a health emergency, particularly in response to the alarming spread of the Congo virus in Quetta.

    To contain the outbreak, specific wards and departments at the civil hospital, where the infection had initially originated among doctors and healthcare providers, have been sealed following thorough disinfection procedures.
    ....Jogezai added that the isolation wards at the Fatima Jinnah Chest Hospital were fully operational, with all the necessary medical equipment and machinery in place to ensure comprehensive care for the patients currently receiving treatment.​​​​

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  • Treyfish
    The Congo Virus

    November 09, 2023
    Opinions, Letters
    The Congo virus has inflicted se­vere health issues in Pakistan, no­tably in Balochistan. A tragic inci­dent involved the death of a young doctor in Quetta due to the virus. The high alert issued in medical facilities across Balochistan un­derscores the gravity of the situa­tion. Reports indicate that this year alone, the virus has claimed the lives of 17 individuals in the prov­ince. Shockingly, 16 healthcare pro­fessionals, including doctors, have also contracted the virus, under­scoring the vulnerability of those on the healthcare frontlines...

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  • Treyfish
    Eradicate Congo Virus

    November 10, 2023
    Opinions, Letters


    It is unfortunate that a second outbreak of the deadly Ebola vi­rus has hit Congo even before an earlier outbreak in the eastern re­gion ended.

    The full name of the virus is Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fe­ver. Crimean-Congo fever is a viral infection that spreads through the bites of infected ticks or when in contact with infected animals. Balo­chistan has issued a Congo virus red alert after a doctor died. Hospi­tals are on high alert for the rapid spread of this dangerous Congo vi­rus in Quetta city. Precautions need to be taken; nine Congo virus pa­tients have been shifted to Karachi from Quetta, and many have died...

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  • Treyfish
    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.

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  • sharon sanders

    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.



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