A small number of cases of Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) have been reported in various cities in Pakistan. Usually, flu-like symptoms appear followed by signs of haemorrhagic fever (emotional confusion, fever, red eyes, flushed face, joint pain, nosebleeds, vomiting and black stools) in the first week if not treated properly. Liver problems and blood circulation problems follow. If treated in time the disease is not life-threatening. Though the disease sounds ominous, the government still has enough time left to prevent an outbreak and people too can take some precautions.

The preventions include the government spraying sacrificial animal markets and diseased animals should be banned from entering the cities and isolated. The government should focus on villages to control the virus from spreading since the primary outbreak location is where cattle are bred and kept. The district administration in Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalpur has already stationed 150 teams to examine and vaccinate livestock. Additionally, the government needs to make isolated wards in every tertiary and secondary care hospitals rather than waiting for a case to emerge. This is easier said than done considering the number of markets as well as the population that predominately eats meat. Government hospitals are mostly over-crowded, and it will be difficult to create space for isolated wards.

In light of such institutional issues, the solution is in the hand of individuals. The waste material of sacrificial animals should be disposed properly, and this is especially pertinent as Eid-ul-Adha is around the corner. Wear bright clothes and cover up, as the disease also spreads through ticks. Do not leave water standing, and wear gloves while handling meat.

Eventually, to avoid such public health issues, there needs to be some realisation of the fact that our eating habits have to change so that we do not predominantly rely on meat as a source of protein. This is better for public health and sanitation and for the environment. With widespread markets and a burgeoning population, the government may not be able to control outbreaks so people must make sure they protect themselves and refrain from unnecessary contact with livestock.