Beware of Congo fever; take care when handling livestock

With Eid al Fitr approaching, the Ministry of Health has warned against unhealthy slaughter and negligence when dealing with livestock.In a statement, the ministry has suggested that measures be taken to avoid direct contact with animals as the risk of contracting Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) still persists. In the first quarter of this year, CCHF had claimed three lives. A total of nine cases — four Omanis and five expatriates — had been reported.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources have suggested that the public take advantage of slaughterhouses as they are better equipped to deal with infected animals and have qualified butchers and veterinarians.
CCHF is classified as a “high priority” disease at both the local and international level and reported within 24 hours. Caused by a tick-borne virus, it causes severe viral haemorrhagic fever. The hosts of the CCHF virus include cattle, sheep and goats. It is transmitted to the people either by tick bites or through contact with infected animal blood or tissues during or immediately after slaughter.
The onset of symptoms is sudden. They include fever, myalgia, muscle ache, dizziness, neck pain and stiffness, backache, headache and sensitivity to light. As no vaccine is found yet to be safe and available for human use, the Ministry of Health has advised the people to follow precautionary procedures when handling animals.

Zainab al Nassri –