Ten persons have tested positive for Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), or Congo fever, in Gujarat and Rajasthan, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has confirmed. However, this is a small focal outbreak, said Dr R R Gangakhedkar, head of the Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases division at ICMR, who holds additional charge as director of the Pune-based National Institute of Virology.
“Of the 78 samples that were tested from Gujarat in August, virologists have been able to confirm presence of Congo fever in nine samples. From among two samples sent from Rajasthan, one tested positive,” Dr Gangakhedkar told The Indian Express.
CCHF is an infection spread by ticks found on animals, mainly sheep, cattle, buffalo and goats. “These ticks tend to sit on cattle… health departments have been conducting awareness campaigns as there have been small outbreaks in states like Gujarat,” said Dr Gangakhedkar. He, however, pointed out that while CCHF does not spread from one human being to another easily, the fatality rate was still high.