Anticipation and preparedness will prevent future outbreaks
Two healthcare employees, who were suspected to have contracted infection from two Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) patients who died while undergoing treatment, have been kept in an isolated ward at AIIMS Jodhpur. One of them is a doctor and the other is a paramedical staff as reported in Times of India on Friday. At AIIMS Jodhpur, two persons — a 40-year-old woman from Borunda and a 17-year-old from Jaisalmer — died due to the disease on September 7 and September 10. Following the incidents, the health department sounded a CCHF alert and roped in the department of animal husbandry to kill Hyalomma ticks, which causes the disease. So far, 129 samples have so far been sent to the virology lab in Pune by the microbiology department of SN Medical College. Reports are awaited.
These are not the first reported cases of CCHF from this region. In 2015, out of the three nurses who had contracted the infection from a patient, one died while undergoing treatment at AIIMS, Delhi.
Diseases such as this do not recognize borders. Increasing travel, both intrastate and interstate, facilitates further spread of the infection. Hence, it is important to anticipate and act timely to prevent them.
There is also a need to create better awareness not only among the general public, but also the healthcare workers, the doctors, paramedics and others involved in patient care. Tracing of contacts and their treatment, if found positive for the infection, is crucial to contain an impending outbreak.
- CCHF is a tick-borne zoonotic viral disease. It is a notifiable disease in India.
- Clinical manifestations of CCHF include sudden onset of fever, headache, malaise, myalgia, sore throat, dizziness, conjunctivitis, photophobia, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. In severe cases, hemorrhagic manifestations (petechiae, ecchymoses, epistaxis, and gum bleeding) are observed.
- Laboratory findings include thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, hyperbilirubinemia with elevated transaminases, and prolongation of prothrombin time and partial thromboplastin time.
Read our earlier published stories on CCHF
- An outbreak of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever recurs in Gujarat?
- WHO Priority Diseases: Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever