Congo fever kills first Karachi resident this year
A 30-year-old man who died of the deadly Congo Crimean Haemorrhagic Fever at a private hospital a day ago became the first citizen of Karachi to have been killed by the virus this year, provincial health authorities said on Monday.
A resident of Adam Town in Phase I, DHA, the victim, Naseeb Khan, was brought to a private hospital in Clifton on Thursday, said Dr Zafar Mehdi, Sindh health department’s focal person for the viral disease’s committee.
Initially admitted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Khan was shifted to the private hospital by his family since they were dissatisfied with the treatment being provided at JMPC, the victim’s younger brother, Ismail Khan, told The News.
Khan remained under treatment at South City Hospital for three days, but unfortunately could not survive the lethal disease According to Ismail, his brother had bought sacrificial animals for Eidul Azha from Balochistan’s Hub Tehsil. Soon after the trip, Naseeb developed a high fever and complained of a severe headache. “When his condition worsened we took him to the JPMC and then shifted him to the South City Hospital where he died on Sunday.”
With Khan’s death, the total number of Congo fever deaths reported in the city so far this year reached five. Since April, a total of four people, all from Quetta, have died of the virus at different private hospitals in Karachi.
One patient, however, currently remains under treatment at the JPMC. Eighteen-year old Zubair Ahmed, also from Quetta, was admitted to the medical facility’s ICU last week and his condition is said to have been improving with each passing day.
“Ahmed was brought to the JPMC with symptoms of the virus after which we immediately started his treatment. But now his condition is improving and he will be discharged from the hospital as soon as he is out of danger,” JPMC Executive Director Dr Seemin Jamali shared with The News.
She also confirmed Khan’s admittance to the JPMC, stating that he was shifted by his family against the medical advice of JPMC’s doctors. Dr Seemin said, this year, the hospital received two Congo patients.
On September 13, the health authorities reported the death of 35-year-old Abdullah Kakar, while Pir Muhammad Gul, 60, died on August 13; 25-year-old Najeebullah Mullahkhail and 15-year-old Shakira Abdul Karim died on May 13 and April 9 respectively. All were residents of Quetta’s Satellite Town.
As many as 47 patients suffering from CCHF were brought to various public and private hospitals of the city; however, 42 of them recovered successfully, the health department officer claimed.
At least 45 of these patients were residents of Quetta’s Satellite Town, Dr Mehdi said, adding, that most of the patients were taken to the city’s private hospitals. He suspected that Satellite Town was under the grip of the deadly virus’ outbreak.
Dr Mehdi said a team of health department officials would visit Khan’s house soon to draw blood samples of his family to ascertain whether any of them had contracted the virus.
“I along with director health Karachi, Dr Taufiq, did all that was possible to keep the city’s residents safe from the deadly Congo virus and we largely remained successful,” Dr Mehdi claimed.
“This death is also linked with Balochistan as the deceased had brought his sacrificial animals from the province. As per medical experts, the infectious disease is highly contagious and is caused by a tick. The disease has a mortality rate of 40 percent and often infects people who deal in livestock and cattle.