Nine cases of CCHF this year, says MoH; three persons die

Muscat - 

The Ministry of Health (MoH) on Monday said that nine cases (including four Omanis) of Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) were reported in the first quarter of this year. The ministry said that CCHF resulted in the death of three persons at a fatality rate of about 33.3 per cent.

It said that the number of cases is high as only three such cases were reported in the same period of 2016. “CCHF is caused by a virus carried by ticks. Animals like sheep, goats and cows become carriers after they are bitten by infected ticks. Humans get infected either by tick bites or through direct contact with the infected animal’s blood and tissues during or after slaughtering.

“Human-to-human transmission can occur resulting from close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected persons,” the ministry said.

MoH said that any person who has CCHF symptoms should report at a healthcare centre within 24 hours. It said CCHF symptoms are fever, muscle ache, dizziness, neck pain and stiffness, back pain, headache, sore eyes and photophobia. “There may be also nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and sore throat early on, followed by sharp mood swings and confusion.”

Considering the unavailability of effective vaccines for humans, the ministry has urged people for preventive measures while handling animals.

“Purchased animals must be ensured that they are free of ticks. Also, when handling animals and their tissues be sure not to touch or crush or remove ticks by hand, wear protective clothing (long sleeves and trousers), gloves and long boots.

“Make sure to slaughter animals at approved municipal slaughterhouses and dispose the waste in bags and dump in designated areas. We call upon people to seek medical help when experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned and avoiding contact with infected people,” the ministry stated.

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