MoAF urges precaution to avoid CCHF

Muscat - 

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MoAF) has advised livestock keepers and public to adopt some precautionary measures to avoid contracting Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF). 

‘CCHF is the most widespread tick-borne viral infection and one of the rapidly emerging viral haemorrhagic fevers in humans, occurring across many countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.’

The ministry has asked animal keepers to keep stockyards clean and use modern ways to diagnose and administer serums for veterinary quarantines.

‘Make sure to keep slaughter animals at approved municipal abattoirs only and dispose slaughterwaste in bags and dump them in designated areas. Ensure animals are free of ticks. Use tissues when handling animal waste. Be sure not to touch, crush or remove ticks by hand, wear protective clothing (long sleeves and trousers), gloves and long boots,’ the ministry said.

CCHF is caused by a virus carried by ticks. Animals like sheep, goats and cows become carriers after they are bitten by infected ticks. Humans get infected either by tick bites or through direct contact with the infected animal’s blood and tissues during or after slaughtering. Human-to-human transmission can occur resulting from close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected persons,’ the ministry said.

The Ministry of Health has also urged people to be careful and report to a healthcare centre within 24hrs if CCHF symptoms are found in any person. ‘CCHF symptoms include fever, muscle ache, dizziness, neck pain and stiffness, back pain, headache, sore eyes and photophobia.’

Due to the unavailability of CCHF vaccines for humans, the ministry has urged people to take preventive measures.

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