Impossible to detect Congo fever virus-infected animals, says Gujarat Health Minister

Ahmedabad, Feb 8 (ANI): Expressing concern on the global speculation over the potentially lethal Congo fever disease, Gujarat Health Minister Jay Narayan Vyas has said it is humanly impossible to detect animals infected with the virus.

Briefing reporters here on Mondat, Vyas said: "The infected animals or the Hyalomma tick do not show any symptoms of the disease. They are merely the carriers of the ailment. So, to identify the infected animals is humanly impossible."

Urging Central and State ministries to carry out extensive awareness campaigns to prevent the disease from spreading to other states, Vyas said the ailment was most likely to first affect people involved in animal rearing sector.

"If we want to prevent this disease, then we will have to carry out an extensive campaign to create awareness among the people. This is because animal rearing is a very popular economic activity in Gujarat as well as across the country. Gujarat produced nearly nine percent of India's milk. Keeping this in mind, we have worked hard and we have requested the other ministries to initiate measures such as cleanliness drives, spraying for elimination of ticks etc," added Vyas.

Vyas's comments come soon after India reported its first case, incidentally from Gujarat itself, where 30-year-old Amina Momin was admitted to a hospital with high fever, abdominal pain and vomiting and later succumbed to the infection.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Congo is a viral hemorrhagic fever of zoonosis nature (transmitted from animals to humans and vice-versa).

Human beings could acquire the CCHF virus from direct contact with blood or other infected tissues from infected livestock or from a tick bite. Those involved with the livestock industry, especially, need to be careful. (ANI)

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