Four cases of Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) were reported from the state this year, of which three cases have been reported to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as part of the “weekly outbreak” reports, even as the state health department claimed there had been “no outbreak of CCHF this year”. Of the four, one died in Botad, said officials. The cases this year are, however, far less than last year when 35 CCHF cases and 17 deaths were reported. Of the four, one died in Botad, said officials.
Project officer in the state health department, dealing with epidemic, said on condition of anonymity, “This year we have reported no outbreak of CCHF because our administration has been very proactive.”
Of the four cases of CCHF reported in the state, three were reported from Botad, according to Botad epidemic officer.
The first case, as reported to the NCDC, was from Botad on March 4. The 70-year-old patient was from the Paliyad village in Botad and a sample was sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune which came back positive. Botad then reported a second case in May from Gadhada block. As per the epidemic officer in Botad Dr R R Chauhan, the patient was a 35-year-old man from the cattle-grazing community of ‘Maldharis’ and had visited a community health centre after exhibiting symptoms of fever.
“He was then sent to the Bhavnagar Medical College to get his samples taken and was hospitalised there. The samples were sent to NIV Pune. He succumbed in four days by May-end… We received the report that the sample was CCHF positive, after he had already died.”
The sample tested positive for CCHF at NIV Pune and close contacts were kept under observation, as per the NCDC report, with tick insecticide sprayed in a cattleshed, from where the patient was suspected to have contracted the disease.
As per Dr Chauhan, only symptomatic samples are tested and no one else was found to be symptomatic following extensive screening that was carried out in the locality.
A third case of 32-year old male was recorded positive for CCHF on July-end from Gadhada block of Botad, who has since recovered. All three cases from Botad were sent to Bhavnagar for treatment.
Another case was reported in March 13, as per the NCDC records, from Abdasa in Kutch, where the case showed symptom of fever. The blood serum samples were taken and sent for confirmation to the National Institute of Virology in Pune. Kutch chief district health officer Dr Premkumar Kannar refused to respond to questions on the case.
Gujarat had first reported cases of CCHF in 2011, according to the World Health Organisation, which was also the first documented case in the country.
Gujarat, which otherwise sees a high incidence of vector-borne diseases like malaria, dengue and chikungunya, have reported 720 dengue cases until July, as per the data from the National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme (NVBDCP). Over 18,200 cases and 17 deaths were reported in 2019 and over 7,500 cases and five deaths in 2018.
While NVBDCP data says no dengue fatalities were recorded in Gujarat until July this year, the data available publicly on the health management information system (HMIS) database of the National Health Mission (NHM) shows one death due to dengue until June this year, reported from the rural limits of Valsad.
In 2019, Gujarat had reported the maximum number of dengue cases among all states across the country. However, until June 2019, Gujarat had reported only one dengue fatality – from the rural limits of Bhavnagar.
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