Eight Die after Contagious Disease Spreads in Southwestern Pakistan
At least eight people have died after a highly contagious disease, which can cause internal bleeding, broke out in the southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan, health officials said Sunday.
The victims included five members of the same family and two paramedical staff attending the patients, they said.
At least 10 people have been admitted to a government hospital in Loralai, 320 kilometers (200 miles) southeast of the provincial capital Quetta, since the disease broke out last week.
"Their condition is critical," the officials said.
The disease, which is called Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever and resembles Ebola, was first detected in Crimea in 1944 and again in Congo in 1956.
Health officials said symptoms of the disease included headache, fever and vomiting, and at its worst, can cause internal bleeding, as well as vomiting and defecating blood.
In very extreme cases, blood can start oozing from the nose, urinary tract and gums.
The disease is often carried by ticks and is highly contagious through contact with infected animals and humans, medical experts said.
A dispenser died after being pricked from a syringe while injecting an infected patient, hospital sources added.
Officials said cases had been reported from the towns of Sinjavi, Dukki, Darghai and Toda in the Lorelei district, adjoining the country's populous Punjab province.
Residents said concern was growing, as medical facilities in the area seemed unable to deal with the disease and people could not afford the "highly expensive" preventive medicine needed for the victims.
Provincial Health Secretary, Ghulam Ali Shah Pasha, confirmed the symptoms indicated the deceased were victims of the hemorrhagic fever – QUETTA Pakistan(AFP)
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