Congo fever resurfaced in Karachi over the Eidul Azha holidays as another case was reported.
A 25-year-old man, identified as Ahmed Shoaib, was admitted to Ziauddin Hospital in North Nazimabad on August 13. The patient was a resident of North Nazimabad and was brought to the hospital with complaints of high fever, generalised body aches and pain around the eyes.
According to Dr Sahar of Ziauddin Hospital, the patient had visited the cattle market on August 11, prior to Eid. Upon returning home he noticed a tick bite on his hand where two ticks were also attached. He removed the ticks himself but did not go to the hospital or consult a doctor.
After three days, he developed symptoms and was admitted to the hospital. The patient was immediately kept in isolation as doctors suspected a diagnosis of Congo fever. His blood samples were sent for investigation and supportive treatment started. The blood tests came back positive for Congo virus.
He was put on antiviral therapy and monitored for other signs of Congo fever such as bleeding from the eyes and mouth. His condition is stable currently, however, Dr Sahar said his lab results are worrying as his white blood cell and platelet counts keep plummeting. White blood cells form the body’s immune response against disease while platelets ensure blood clots properly.
So far more than 15 cases of Congo fever have been reported in Karachi out of which nine proved to be fatal. Experts say the disease has a fatality rate of 40 to 50% and can be managed if caught in the early stages. Early symptoms of Congo fever include high fever, vomiting, headache, dizziness and body pain.