Controlling the Spread of Dengue and Congo fever
A Public awareness seminar cum meeting of health professionals societies as joint venture was organized by Prof. Sherwani, a renowned medical microbiologist at Federal Urdu University Karachi. It was largely attended by teachers, scientists, laboratory workers and students. This joint venture of professionals societies American Society for Microbiology (ASM), Biosafety Association of Pakistan (BSAP), Medical Microbiology Association of Pakistan (MMAP) and Technology Times, Islamabad was graciously supported by ESS lab, Pakistan. Chief Organizer, Prof. Sikandar Sherwani, a microbiologist by profession opened the seminar session that the danger of this disease in Pakistan is increasing at the eve of Eidul Azha because of mass slaughter of sacrificial animals during this religious occasion.Prof. Sherwani eductaed general public that there is no vaccination against the disease for humans or animals and it has a greater than 40 per cent mortality rate.
Prof. Atiya Naeem, Chairperson, Microbiology, FUUAST added that realizing the current gravity of situation, our teacher, Sikandar Sherwani took timely initiative to organize this awareness session for common people. Prof. Dr. Shahana U. Kazmi, a world renowned microbiologist highlighted the chief symptoms of the disease that patients get high temperature in beginning and feel pain in joints and in different parts of body starts. She further added that bleeding from gums, skin and large intestine also starts and red spots appear on body. All the symptoms of Congo fever are similar that of Dengue fever.
Prof. Kazmi added that Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a widespread tick-borne viral disease, a zoonosis of domestic animals and wild animals that may affect humans. The pathogenic virus, especially common in East and West Africa, is a member of the Bunyaviridae family of RNA viruses.
Prof. Dr. Imtiaz, a well-known entomologist said that Congo is deadly viral diseases spread through tick-bites found on animals and people especially who deal with dairy farming and livestock are highly prone to get infected and carry the virus. Dr. Syed Noman, a vet and UN consultant strongly advised the audience to avoid purchasing animals suffering from flu and any other kind of illness and properly cook meat to minimize the risk of catching Congo viral disease. Dr. Noman added that employees of livestock department and those handling sacrificial animals will at great risk. Dr. Hina from Essa lab also spoke on the ocassion and highlighted that there are no specific medicines for this disease, however; usage of different medicines at early stage can save human life. Dr. Hina educated that it is fatal disease and it destroys the platelets in human blood.
Prof. Qadri another speaker added that Congo virus may spread through travelers in our country and it is time that the authorities concerned should enforce screening and quarantine measures to control its spread. Dr. Ghulam Fatima, chief pathologist, Civil hospital spoke that hospitals must have proper isolation wards with infection control regime in place and the paramedical staff handling such patients must have proper protective gear to avoid contracting the disease. Hon. Vice Chancellor apprecited the timely arrangement by young and dedicated faculty member Sikandar sherwani and expressed that it is advisable to create a public awareness campaign in advance of Eidul Azha using all available media sources, which can play an important role in raising awareness of public health issues.
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