People preparing for qurbani advised not to crush ticks

KARACHI: Doctors on Thursday warned potential buyers of cattle for qurbani to ensure that any tick if found on their body or clothes is not crushed but carefully removed as otherwise it may trigger crimean congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF).

Assistant Professor, Syed Faisal Mehmood, Infectious Diseases, Department, Aga Khan University Hospital and Dr. Irum Qamar Khan, in a session with journalists said since CCHF is caused due to a peculiar tick it is always safe that people are careful to avoid tick bites.

Since it is difficult for people to differentiate between CCHF causing tick and any other tick therefore it is advisable that ticks in general when and if found on clothes, underclothes or any part of body is immediately removed and then killed, said Dr. Irum in reply to a question.

Otherwise crushing of a CCHF causing tick can come into skin contact besides infect hands that if again not immediately and adequately washed hold every chance to transmit the fatal virus through nostrils, mouth and eye.

The doctors said same caution equally applies for children, presently being witnessed not only accompanying their elders to cattle market but also spending significant time in roaming around with the animal meant for qurbani.
Dr. Syed Faisal Memhmood said during current year, till September 25, eight patients were admitted to Aga Khan Hospital and while six were discharged after complete recovery two died, both men, as were brought very late to the hospital.

Of these eight patients one was from Punjab and seven from Karachi, said the infectious diseases expert mentioning that these cases were AKUH specific and not province or country wide.

Sixteen cases of CCHF were diagnosed at the AKU chain of 200 plus laboratories scattered across the country and all patients were not necessarily brought to AKUH.