A report of 12 sporadic cases of crimean-congo hemorrhagic fever from Pakistan

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Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus was discovered in Pakistan in the 1960s while the first case of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever from Pakistan was recorded in 1976. Since then, the country has witnessed at least thirteen outbreaks of this infection. We have presented the demographic, clinical, hematological and management profile of 12 sporadic cases of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever that were encountered at a tertiary care teaching hospital in Karachi, Pakistan between January, 2001 and October, 2009. All of the patients were male. The mean age of the patients was 31 ± 13.1 years. Six of the 12 patients (50%) were residents of Karachi while 4 patients (33.3%) were from Balochistan province of Pakistan. The diagnosis was confirmed from serum samples of patients using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assay. The mean duration of symptoms before admission was 5.3 ± 2.6 days. The most common presenting complaint was fever (100%). Mean values of the different hematological parameters at admission were: platelets (40.5 ± 29.8 x 109/l), white blood cell count (6.2 ± 3.7 x 109/l), hemoglobin (11.1 ± 3.3 g/dl), prothrombin time (16 ± 4.1 seconds) and international normalized ratio (1.4 ± 0.35). The mean duration of stay in the hospital was 5.9 ± 3.2 days. Oral ribavirin was administered to 9 out of 12 patients (75%). Four of the 12 patients (33.3%) expired in this series. Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever still remains a fatal and endemic infection in Pakistan that requires concerted efforts from the healthcare community for its eradication. It is important to improve the health practices and health seeking behaviors of the public through educational campaigns.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Reviews in Infection