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Critical Reviews™ in Eukaryotic Gene Expression
IF: 1.841 5-Year IF: 1.927 SJR: 0.649 SNIP: 0.516 CiteScore™: 1.96

ISSN Print: 1045-4403
ISSN Online: 2162-6502

Critical Reviews™ in Eukaryotic Gene Expression

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevEukaryotGeneExpr.2018020593
pages 93-100

Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) in Pakistan: The "Bell" is Ringing Silently

Muhammad Zubair Yousaf
Centres of Excellence in Science & Applied Technologies, Islamabad, Pakistan; Department of Biological Sciences, Forman Christian College (A Chartered University), Ferozpur Road, 54600, Lahore, Pakistan
Usman Ali Ashfaq
Department of Bioinformatics & Biotechnology, Government College University, 38000 Faisalabad, Pakistan
Khalid Mahmood Anjum
Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan
Shaista Fatima
Centers of Excellence in Science and Applied Technologies, Islamabad, Pakistan

ABSTRACT

Pakistan is being hit by communicable and noncommunicable diseases over time. Among these, tickborne viral disease, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is one of the most fatal infections. Rapid climate change aroused by industrial, occupational, and agricultural activities to support ever-growing human population has been considered the single most causative basis for emergence or re-emergence of CCHF in Pakistan, where it has biannual peaks between the months of March–May and August–October. Many factors, including poor sanitation at farms, villages, and cities, unhygienic transportation and slaughter of animals at numerous sites within a city, inefficient tick-control programs, post-slaughter piles of animal remains other than meat, nomadic lifestyle, and lack of trained animal and human healthcare staff, are contributing to the spread of CCHF. Pakistan has confirmed cases of CCHF in almost every province: Sindh (Karachi), Punjab (Faisalabad, Multan, and Rawalpindi), Balochistan (Quetta) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Peshawar). The root cause behind the spread of CCHF in Pakistan seems to be the absence of an effective disease surveillance system in the human as well as the animal populations. Most of the time, CCHF cases are not diagnosed, and if they are diagnosed they are not reported. If these cases are reported, there are not enough effective measures by the relevant provincial and district authorities. There is a need to educate the general public, farmers, and healthcare workers about the causes, transmission, and dangers of CCHF. An immediate plan for the implementation of a surveillance system, standard preventive measures, early detection, proper treatment, and timely response is urgently needed. Without such a plan, the accumulation of factors responsible for the sudden outbreak of CCHF may pose a serious threat to humans and animals in different geographical regions of the country.


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