Muscat, August 29 – Even as preparations for Eid Al Adha are in full swing, the Muscat Municipality has warned against the Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever, a disease caused by a tick-borne virus usually found on animals.
It said animal slaughter should be carried out at slaughterhouses authorised by the municipality and not at houses or public places.
Oman had earlier reported eight cases of CCHF, including one death. In 2005, six deaths were reported. Four cases were reported in 2012 and three in 1995, said an epidemiologist at Department of Communicable Disease Surveillance and Control, Directorate-General of Health Affairs at the Ministry of Health.
The ministry has brought out a pamphlet guiding the public on how to protect themselves from the virus, what to do when slaughtering animals and when they come in direct contact with animals for sacrifice.
The hosts of the CCHF virus include a wide range of wild and domestic animals such as cattle, sheep and goats. The virus gets transmitted to people either by tick bites or through contact with infected animal blood or tissues during and immediately after slaughter. Human-to-human transmission can occur resulting from close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected persons.
Hospital-acquired infections can occur due to improper sterilisation of medical equipment, reuse of needles and contamination of medical supplies. “It is important to apply preventive measures while dealing with animals or handling a CCHF case,” a source said.
Slaughterhouses ready: The Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources has said slaughterhouses are ready for Eid al Adha. In wilayats, Oman Environmental Services Holding Company (Beah) will ensure the safe and rapid disposal of the remains of slaughter.
While intensifying awareness programmes, it has asked people to use municipal slaughterhouses as they are appropriate place to provide healthy and disease-free meat.
In addition, it has designated sites, where there are no municipal slaughterhouses, for keeping waste in sealed bags and transporting them to sites or assembly points for disposal of the residues. The ministry said veterinary doctors are available at abattoirs to check the quality of meat. In addition, qualified and licensed butchers carry out slaughter.
The ministry has stepped up efforts to prevent Brucellosis, which can spread from animals to humans. The disease is caused by the consumption of non-pasteurised milk products and unhygienic meat.
The spread of disease can be prevented if butchers handle the meat with gloves and protective clothing.