Health alert as Crimean Congo fever reported in Suhar

Suhar: The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries on Thursday said they have completed the necessary measures to control Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever outbreak in the Sultanate and has declared the barns of Suhar Municipality as quarantine area.

This was after the Directorate General of Health Services in North Al Batinah received a call about the presence of Crimean haemorrhagic fever in farm workers of this area.

The Ministry, represented by the Directorate General of Agriculture and Livestock in North and South Al Batinah governorates and in cooperation with the Municipality of Suhar, initiated all necessary measures to control the outbreak at the suspected barns, which included proper disposal of animal waste and fertilizers, workshops and disinfection of the barns.

Blood samples were taken from animals in barns and sent to the ministries’ central laboratory. The laboratory results confirmed the existence of positive cases. As a result, the barns in Suhar Municipality have been declared as a quarantine area.

As a precautionary measure, a joint team of relevant authorities carried out procedures to limit the number of animals getting exposed to the virus in these barns and quarantine them. They also have stopped the slaughtering operations.

In addition, the Directorate General of Agriculture and Livestock in Al Batinah North and South governorates, in coordination with the Directorate General of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources in Al Batinah North Governorate, implemented similar preventive measures for animal barns in the wilayats of Shinas, Al Suwaiq and Saham.

The Ministry urges all consumers not to enter the quarantine area and not to sell or buy the animals (preserved) until the removal of the causes.

As per the World Health Organization, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a widespread disease caused by a tick-borne virus (Nairovirus) of the Bunyaviridae family. The CCHF virus causes severe viral haemorrhagic fever outbreaks, with a case fatality rate of 10–40 per cent.

The CCHF virus is transmitted to people either by tick bites or through contact with infected animal blood or tissues during and immediately after slaughter. The majority of cases have occurred in people involved in the livestock industry, such as agricultural workers, slaughterhouse workers and veterinarians.