Congo Virus Spreads Through Herat, Claims 10 More Lives: Officials

At least six women and four men have so far died of fatal Congo virus in western Herat as the province saw 32 suspected cases over the past two months, provincial health officials said Thursday.

The Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus have been recently reported and confirmed by health officials in Kabul, Herat, Nangarhar, Helmand and Nuristan provinces.

However Herat Public Health Department officials told TOLOnews the infectious disease was not new in Herat and it has spread dramatically through the province.

‎According to officials, each year dozens of residents suspected to have Congo virus were being shifted ‎to the Herat Regional Hospital.

‎”My brother had nasal bleeding and severe fever. When we took him to the hospital, he was reported to have Congo virus,” said Nasir, a resident of Herat.

According to the doctors, Congo fever is a tick-borne infectious disease which is mainly transferred to humans from pets. It is also transferred from touching animal’s blood or eating half-cooked meat.

The symptoms of the virus included diarrhea, vomiting, bloody urine, headache, high fever, back pain, joint pain and stomach pain.

“‎We have livestock at our home. When I ate lamb meat, I got fever and then my family took me to the hospital,” said Shadi Khan, who is also diagnosed with the virus.

According to Herat doctors‎, most of their patients with Congo disease were the butchers.

‎”When I got stomach pain I went to a doctor and got some medicines but it didn’t effect me rather my pain got worse. But when I went to the regional hospital, doctors said I had Congo virus,” said another patient named Wali Mohammad.

Meanwhile, ‎the Herat doctors complained they lacked enough resources to fight the virus, which is said to be curable.

“Thirty-two patients were brought to the hospital over the past two months, of which 10 died including six women,” a doctor at the regional hospital told TOLOnews.

‎It came a week after the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) officials in Kabul confirmed the outbreak of the fatal virus in the capital city which they said to have claimed lives of eight people so far this year.

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