Islamabad—Saira Afzal Tarar Minister for National Health Services taking cognizance of reports of Congo fever in Bahawalpur district of Punjab has directed National Institute of Health to provide all out support to Punjab Health Department in meeting the challenges.
Ordering cancellation of weekend holidays of relevant staff of laboratories and field epidemiology division of NIH, the minister directed that all samples received at the NIH from suspected cases be tested and report shared with the Punjab Government in the shortest possible time.
The minister further directed the federal epidemic response team to be on high alert and be ready to be dispatched should the Provincial govt require their help. According to details a surgeon in Bahawalpur Victoria Hospital Dr. Sageer Sameega was admitted on 25.7.2016 in the hospital with 5-6 days history of symptoms of fever, sore throat and diarrhea.
Dengue test was negative. He was shifted to Agha Khan University Hospital, Karachi on 27.7.2016 and was diagnosed as CCHF positive on 28.7.2016. He died on 30th July 2016. It was reported that he may have acquired the virus during surgery performed on a patient named Nadia Hina (Student Nurse at DHQ Hospital Lodhran), who underwent laparotomy at the hospital and was labeled as hemorrhagic peritonitis.
She reportedly had history of contact with livestock during visit to her relatives. She also died later on 17th July 2016. Another doctor named Dr. Awais who assisted Dr. Sagheer also developed symptoms of fever and sore throat for the last 5 days and is on ventilator at Agha Khan University Hospital Karachi. He has been put on antiviral therapy as well.
Special expert team constituted and dispatched for epidemiological investigation by Punjab government 5 Theatre and ward staff of BVH and close contacts are under observation and 4 close contacts are in quarantine. Samples sent to NIH, Islamabad for laboratory testing Livestock department has been contacted for ticks identification and preventive measures 25 Family members and all 25 close contacts of staff nurse at Lodhran are in quarantine and are being observed for 14 days. Their samples have also been sent to NIH, Islamabad Dr. Awais and his family is also under observation and samples sent to NIH Islamabad.
Monitoring for fever twice in a day for consecutive 14 days for all contacts and to report immediately to hospital in case of fever 2500 Personal Protective kits for doctors and paramedics sent to Bahawalpur and 1000 kits for Lodhran.