KARACHI - A 36-year-old resident of Lyari died at Liaquat National Hospital (LNH) due to complications of the Congo Virus.

“My brother Sadiq Ali, who had been diagnosed with Congo virus expired at Liaquat National Hospital on Thursday night. Doctors said he was having problems with breathing and could not survive the complications of the disease,” Ibrahim, an elder brother of the deceased.

Ibrahim said his brother, who was married with four small children, used to visit a cattle pen in the area with other people, and doctors said he might have contracted the deadly disease from the same cattle pen. Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) is a tick-borne viral disease, which is caused when a person comes in contact with an animal infected with the Congo virus due to the presence of the parasite on its skin. Mostly butchers, sheep and animal herders and those who are associated with cattle-farming become victims of the CCHF, which has a 40 per cent to 50 per cent mortality rate.

Health department authorities confirmed that the man, a resident of Gulistan Colony, Madina Masjid Road, UC-8 Rangiwara, Lyari, was taken to Liaquat National Hospital after complaints of bleeding from mouth and nose on Sunday last and during examinations it was confirmed that the patient was infected with the Congo virus.“Sadiq Ali, a resident of UC-8, Rangiwara, Lyari, was diagnosed with Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever by Liaquat National Hospital authorities.

He was undergoing treatment under intensive care at the hospital as his condition was said to be precarious,” said Amanullah Abro, town health official (THO) of Lyari.

He said that after taking the history of the patient, they had decided to check other family members of the patient and area people for symptoms of the disease, and they were also planning to visit the cattle pen to examine the conditions so that other people could be protected from the deadly disease.

On the other hand, international health bodies said Sadiq Ali was the second victim of the Congo fever in Pakistan this year as, earlier in April, a middle-aged woman from the Mianwali city of Punjab had died due to the complications of CCHF at the Shifa International Hospital in Punjab on April 6, 2018.

As many as six persons had died at various hospitals in Karachi last year due to CCHF, but the majority of them had been brought from the Quetta city of Balochistan for treatment. One of the patients who perished was a resident of Karachi.

Cases of CCHF usually surface during Eid-ul-Azha in Pakistan when tens of thousands of sacrificial animals are brought to the cities for sacrifice and mostly butchers who slaughtered them get infected as they directly dealt with blood and other secretions of the animals.