According to the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), the risk of Congo virus and Lumpy Skin disease increases during Eid Ul Adha as mawashi mandi gets established in big cities of Sindh, Punjab and other major regions of Pakistan.
Hence, citizens have to take special care when buying cows, goats, and animals for sacrifice. PMA Secretary Dr Qaiser Sajjad highlighted the preventive measures regarding the Congo virus & lumpy skin. He said that the Congo virus spreads by the bite of a flea or tick that has sucked the blood of cattle infected with the Congo virus.
Dr Qaiser Sajjad said that shepherds, butchers or anyone who has touched cattle or people who live close to an infected person are at high risk of becoming victims of this virus. He suggested the following points to avoid the Congo virus:
- Wear light-coloured, full-sleeved clothing when buying an animal or when around them.
- Wear shoes with socks.
- Apply an insect-repellent tube or lotion to exposed body parts.
- Take a bath immediately after returning home from the cattle farm.
- Wear gloves on your hands while slaughtering the animal
- Cover your mouth and nose with a mask
- Wash your hands with soap as soon as you remove the gloves
- Cover the animal skin with a plastic sheet and keep it aside
- Do not spill the blood or water of the animal on the road.
Dr Qaiser Sajjad said that if a person is suffering from the Congo virus, he will show these symptoms and should immediately consult a physician:
- High fever
- Muscle pain
- Severe itching
- Bleeding from the nose
Regarding lumpy skin disease, he said that PMA warns the public to avoid approaching animals with lumpy skin disease and not to buy animals that look sickly for sacrifice.
Dr Qaiser said that citizens should go to the cattle market during the day so they can avoid buying sick, emaciated and defective animals.
He advised the government to screen all animals at the entry points of cattle markets and allow only healthy animals to enter the market to save the lives and health of the public.