Precautions about the Congo Virus
The suggestions given below are proposed by the Infection Control Committee of the Aga Khan University Hospital regarding the do’s and don’t’s during this qurbani and how you must become aware of Congo virus symptoms.
Key points to keep in mind about the Congo Fever
1- Bear in mind that the “Congo virus fever” is spread by the bite of ticks commonly found inside ears and noses of domestic animals such as cows and goats.
2- These pests feed on an infected animal from exposure to blood or tissues during and or immediately after an animal is slaughtered.
3- The contaminated animal may appear perfectly healthy and in good shape.
4- Although eating or preparation of meat from an infected animal is safe.
When buying or coming in close proximity with animals:
1- While visiting the market, one should be wearing light-colored and full sleeved clothes and shoes must be worn with socks.
2- Applying an insect repellent on the exposed areas of the body will help reduce the risk of being bitten.
3- Face masks and gloves are very effective in case of avoiding contact with the parasites.
4- Shower and change your clothes as soon as you return home.
Protective procedures during slaughter (qurbani)
1- Face and nose the should be covered during the initial stages of the slaughter.
2- Avoid rubbing your eyes or nose, if you have blood on your hands.
3- Keep your hands clean by frequent washing.
4- If soap and water are unavailable, use plain water or tissue paper/napkins to clean blood, just don’t let the blood stay on your hands.
General symptoms of Congo virus
1- Early symptoms of the Congo Fever are rapid muscle aches with high fever along with backache and headache.
2- Symptoms usually seem to be developing in about one to three days after exposure to ticks (rarely up to nine days) and five to seven days when exposed to blood (rarely takes up-to 14 days)
3- One very interesting thing is that it’s symptoms are very similar to other sicknesses (for example Dengue), and one must contact a health-care provider when sick.
Please take up the above-mentioned precautions during Eid-ul-Azha 2016 and stay safe and healthy.