Along with Covid-19, Palghar now on high alert for Congo fever
With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Palghar district collector Dr Manek Gursale on Monday evening issued an alert for the deadly Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), or Congo Fever, which is believed to spread from animals to humans in the form of ticks and external parasites.
Dr Prashant Kamble, deputy commissioner, animal husbandry department, Palghar issued a circular to this effect.
Dr Gursale has directed all cattle feeders, meat and poultry sellers, animal breeders consumers to remain on high alert. Congo fever has a high mortality rate of between 10-40%, with no vaccine available for either humans or animals.
“We have ordered all the meat sellers to take the necessary measures, including hygiene, cleanliness, spraying insecticides and using gloves, gumboots and masks. Proper checking of animals arriving in Maharashtra, particularly from nearby Valsad district in Gujarat, has also been ordered,” said Gursale.
Dr Kanchan Vanare, district civil surgeon said that till date no cases have been reported in Palghar. “We have ordered the precautions as we found that those infected by Congo fever were recently detected in the neighbouring Valsad district in Gujarat, which borders Talasari taluka in Palghar district.”
He said that as of yet not much is known about the disease. “It is believed to spread through the Hyalomma tick, an external parasite which thrives on the blood or flesh of infected animals like cattle and fowl. Anybody consuming such infected meat may experience symptoms of high fever, head and body aches, nose bleeding, stomach pains and red eyes,” said Vanare.
Till Tuesday evening, Palghar district reported 34,708 cases of Covid-19, with 22,219 in Vasai-Virar civic areas alone. The death toll in the district stands at 678, with Vasai-Virar reporting 439 deaths as per district information office (DIO) data.