What is Congo Fever? Congo Virus Symptoms Causes | Diagnosis | Prevention

What is Congo Fever, Congo Fever Symptoms

What is Congo Fever? | Congo Virus Symptoms | Causes | Diagnosis | Prevention

What is Congo Fever? Congo Disease is also known as Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever – CCHF. It is a tick-borne viral disease. Congo Fever symptoms or Congo virus symptoms occur two weeks following the exposure. Congo Virus Causes relate to tick bites. Tick control is important for Congo Fever Prevention.

What is Congo Fever? History

Congo virus belongs to the genus Orthonairovirus, family Nairoviridae of RNA Viruses. This contagious disease was first described in the Crimean Peninsula in 1944. After this, it was named Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever. Moreover, Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever is endemic in Africa, Russia, the Balkans, the Middle East, and Asia.

PPR in Sheep Goat

Congo Virus Causes and Transmission

Mainly the Congo Virus causes are ticks. Cause of CCHF is a tick-borne virus Nairovirus of the Bunyaviridae family. Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever transmission occurs through various routes. Congo virus maintains its lifecycle in ticks and vertebrates. Wild animals and small mammals are the amplifying hosts of the Congo Virus.

Ticks of the genus Hyalomma are the principal reservoir or vector of the Congo Virus. These ticks have primary role among Congo Virus causes. Other ticks genera can also cause this viral infection. However, primary infection in humans occurs through tick bites or direct contact with the blood of infected ticks.

What is Congo Fever, Congo Fever Symptoms

CCHF can also be transmitted through direct contact with the blood or tissues of infected wild animals or livestock. Ticks carry viruses from wild animals to domestic animals or humans. These wild animals include European Hare, Multimammate rats, and Middle African Hedgehogs. Generally, birds are resistant to Congo hemorrhagic fever but Ostriches are susceptible to CCHF. Livestock such as cattle, sheep, and goats are common reservoirs.

Infection in Humans occurs through the Hyalomma tick bite. However, major infections occur in people dealing with livestock. Moreover, veterinarians, livestock handlers, and slaughterhouse workers are more prone to this disease.

Secondary human infection occurs through human-to-human transmission. This contagious disease can occur through direct contact with infected human blood or bodily fluids. Hospital infections can also occur in health workers due to contact with contaminated medical equipment. So these congo virus causes should be avoided as congo fever prevention.

What is Congo Fever? Symptoms in Animals and Human

Mostly, many animals like livestock can become infected without showing symptoms. So Congo Virus Symptoms in animals are not shown. On the other hand, it shows symptoms in humans. Congo virus symptoms progress through four different stages in humans. The stages include Incubation, pre-hemorrhagic, hemorrhagic, and convalescent.

The incubation period of CCHF ranges from 2-14 days. The incubation period duration also depends on the mode of acquisition of the Congo virus. Following the infection caused by tick bite it lasts 2-3 days. But it can also last up to 9 days.

CCHF Control Measures

Pre-hemorrhagic phase onset is sudden. Pre-hemorrhagic Congo Fever symptoms are fever, dizziness, neck pain, headache, muscle pain, and sensitivity to light. In this phase, gastrointestinal symptoms also occur with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. It is followed by agitation and sharp mood swings. After 2-4 days, agitation may be replaced with depression and sleepiness. Liver enlargement, bradycardia, conjunctivitis, and rash on the body can also be observed.

The hemorrhagic phase typically begins after a few days of initial Congo virus symptoms. This phase is very short and lasts up to 2-3 days. Congo Fever symptoms in the Hemorrhagic phase include severe nosebleeds, severe bruising, and uncontrolled bleeding at injection sites. Moreover, Clinical signs include Petechiae, lymphadenopathy, conjunctival hemorrhage, and melena. Death occurs in severe cases due to multiorgan failure.

The convalescent phase occurs after 10-20 days of Congo infection. It can last upto 1 year. During this phase, congo virus symptoms include fatigue, malaise, hair loss, anorexia, and polyneuritis. Memory and hearing loss can also occur in this phase as congo fever symptoms. Mostly, patients may recover without complications. CCHF has a case fatality rate up to 40%.

What is Congo Fever? Congo Fever Diagnosis

Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever – Congo fever diagnosis includes patient history, clinical symptoms, and different laboratory tests. Moreover, Diagnosis tests for Congo include Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and virus isolation by cell culture.

Initial Congo Fever symptoms include fever, headache, muscle pain, diarrhea and vomiting. Patient history is essential in Congo virus diagnosis. Patient history includes exposure to ticks or tick bites, exposure to wild animals and livestock, and contact with CCHF patients or cases. Differential diagnosis is necessary. CCHF must be differentiated from other viral hemorrhagic fevers like dengue and Ebola virus. Other symptoms like typhoid fever and malaria can also occur.

Congo Fever Prevention and Control

Congo Fever Prevention includes tick control, safe animal handling, and protection from tick bites. The Congo fever prevention needs to minimize exposure Congo Virus Causes. These include ticks and infected animals or humans. However, it is difficult to control Congo infection in animals. Because, CCHF is asymptomatic in domestic animals like cattle, sheep, and goats.

Thus, Congo Fever Prevention includes the prevention of tick-to-human transmission. The preventive measures include wearing protective clothes such as long sleeves and light colors when handling animals. Wash hands after handling the animals. Avoid tick-infested areas. Perform regular checkups for ticks on animals.

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Tick control in livestock animals is necessary for Congo fever prevention. Use tick control sprays on the floor where domestic animals rest or sleep. Use acaricides and weedicides per season in natural habitats of ticks like grasses close to animals’ sheds.

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