islamabad - The National Institute of Health (NIH) issued advisories regarding prevention and control of Typhoid Fever and CCHF (Congo Fever) for the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha, as currently there is no vaccine available for humans to reduce the infection caused by Congo fever.  The objective of these advisories is to sensitize human and animal healthcare authorities to further strengthen and improve the level of preparedness in prevention and control of CCHF.

According to the advisory, Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) is a widespread disease caused by a tick-borne virus (Nairovirus) of the Bunyaviridae family with a case fatality rate of 10–40%. Ticks, especially of the Hyalommagenus are both reservoir and vector for the CCHF virus.  Numerous wild and domestic animals, such as cattle, buffaloes, goats, and sheep are silent carriers of this virus and the adult ticks feed on these animals.  The areas where domestication of animals is very high can be affected by this disease. During last year, 51 positive cases of CCHF were diagnosed. Since the beginning of this year, a total of 59 suspected cases have been submitted for testing, out of which 8 have been found positive for CCHF.

Healthcare workers along with animal herders, Veterinarians, Para-veterinary staff, livestock workers, animal merchants, butchers and slaughterhouse workers are at risk of the disease. Apart from them the close contacts caring the suspected case and person involved in burial practices are also at risk of getting infected. The advisory recommended the public to wear protective clothing (long sleeves, long trousers).

- Wear light colored clothing while visiting animal market/mandi to allow easy detection of ticks on the clothes and regularly examine clothing and skin for ticks,if found, remove them safely,and use approved acaricides/repellents on clothing and skin.

-Wear gloves and other protective clothing while handling animals or their tissues, notably during slaughtering, butchering and culling procedures in slaughterhouses or at home.

-Avoid close physical contact with CCHF-infected people, wear gloves and protective equipment when taking care of ill people, wash hands frequently after caring or visiting ill people and use Insect repellents as they are the very effective in warding off ticks in human populations.

Viewing situation of increased number of typhoid fever cases in the country, the Institute has issued advisory on Typhoid Fever.  Typhoid caused by bacteria, (Salmonella Typhi) which occur through feco-oral route and is spread through contaminated food, milk, frozen fruits and water or through close contact with already infected person. Contamination is mainly caused by poor sanitation and mixing of sewerage in drinking water.  Newly emerged form of typhoid fever, extensively drug resistant (XDR) Typhoid is being reported in some areas of Sindh province, especially in Hyderabad and Karachi.

There are more than 2000 positive cases of XDR Typhoid that have been reported so far.

The advisory suggests adopting following preventive measures in routine life to avoid such kind of infections.

-Wash hands properly and restore hand hygiene condition in routine life.

-Avoid eating raw food and vegetables, always drink boiled drinking water.

Typhoid vaccine is available in Pakistan and people should also administer Typhoid vaccine after consultation with doctor.