No need to panic about killer virus: ICMR

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) Wednesday asked people not to panic about the Crimian Congo Haemorregic Fever (CCHF) virus that has killed three people in Ahmedabad, saying its outbreak can easily be controlled by proper hygiene.

“The CCHF outbreak can easily be controlled by proper hygiene and infection control measures in hospitals. Similar precautions should be taken in the community specially while slaughtering animals from whose tissues the infection can spread to humans,” an ICMR statement said.

The first case of human infection from CCHF virus was reported from Ahmedabad. Tests conducted at National Institute of Virology, Pune have confirmed the presence of CCHF virus in blood as well as urine samples of the patient.

A patient and her consulting doctor and nurse died of the fever this month.

The CCHF virus is known to be transmitted among animals through ticks. It kills humans in 20 to 40 percent cases.

According to ICMR, after a one to three day incubation period following a tick bite (5-6 days after exposure to infected blood or tissues), flu-like symptoms appear which may resolve after one week.

“In up to 75 percent of cases, however, signs of haemorrhage appear within 3-5 days of the onset of illness. Patients usually begin to recover after 9-10 days from the onset of symptoms, but there could be mortality in some cases,” it said.

A team of specialists from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases has already been sent to Ahmedabad.

The CCHF virus had earlier been reported from Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and Pakistan. There is evidence of CCHF infection being present in India in animals. However, they don’t get the disease.

Filed under: Medicine

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