Last week, three people from Gujarat died suffering from symptoms such as headache, diarrhea and hemorrhaging. It has been confirmed by National Institute of Virology that the three who died had contracted Congo fever.
Out of 49 suspected cases, seven have been confirmed and three out of them have already succumbed. There is no vaccine available for people or animal in this case and Congo fever has hit a fatality rate of 40 percent.
Here’s everything to know about the Congo fever which saw its outbreak in Gujarat
Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever is a viral disease which is caused by biting of ticks who belongs to the Bunyaviridae family. As per the WHO (World Health Organization), the fever has a case fatality rate between 10 and 40 percent. WHO also states that the disease is endemic in areas like Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East Asian countries south of the 50th parallel north.
Causes and Spread of Congo fever
Congo fever infects wild and domestic animals such as cattle, sheep, and goats when they get infected by ticks carrying the virus. The people who work in the livestock industry like animal farms or abattoirs become vulnerable to the disease after coming in contact with the tissues and blood of the infected animal.
When people come in contact with the blood, the human to human transmission happens and also most of the transmission happens in hospitals.
Symptoms of Congo fever
Symptoms start showing between one and thirteen days, depending on the mode of infection.
- Muscle ache
- Neck pain
- Stiffness of the neck
- Sore eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Abdominal pain
- Sore throat
- Mood swings
- Stomach ache in the upper right side
- Liver enlargement
- Fast heart rate
- Bleeding under the skin
- Liver failure
Congo fever Diagnosis
Congo fever needs to be diagnosed through different laboratory tests. These include:
- ELISA or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
- Antigen detection
- Cell culture test to isolate the virus
- RT-PCR or Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
- Serum neutralization
Congo fever treatment
There is no treatment or vaccine for Congo fever and the only way to treat is to manage the symptoms of the disease.