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Is it a Bakra mandi or a Congo Virus visit?


Medically reviewed by Dr. Riaz Ali Shah.

Every street in Pakistan, right now, has the stench of cows and goats. We hear loud moo-ing cow noises coming from the alleys near our house. Yes, you have probably guessed it right. It is time for the biggest Islamic festival called Eid-Ul-Adha!

All of you must be super excited to go to the mandi and get yourself goats or cows. But…wait! You might be ready for the mandi but are you ready to prepare yourself against the deadly Congo Virus? If you didn’t already know, Congo Virus (Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic fever) is a tick-borne disease that infects domestic and wild animals including livestock. People can contract this disease if they get bit by an infected tick present on the animal. They can also contract it if they come into contact with the blood, tissues and other bodily fluids of the animal. Moreover, this disease can pass from one to another through blood and other bodily fluids.

They say precaution is better than cure and Congo Virus has no cure, so you need to protect yourself against it by following the ways mentioned below.

Rub on some repellent to rub off the virus!

Stock up on tick repellents till the time you are going to different mandis. All you need to do is rub some tick repellent all over the exposed skin. Ensure to apply at least 2-3 coats of this life-saving lotion to achieve maximum protection.

Let your clothes be your guard!

Congo virus has been reported to spread via animal secretions like blood, mucus, perspirations, feces, etc. So, it’s time you pull out the thick jeans and long-sleeved denim shirt, and pair of socks from your wardrobes when you are planning to go for a mandi tour. It is better to feel hot instead of getting this disease and being hot-headed.

No niqab? Well, wear a face mask!

Mandis are known to be crowded. People are bumping into each other and there is a lot of sweat dropping by. You might see a lot of people sneezing and coughing too but you don’t really know the reason behind this. It might be the flu…or it might be the virus causing it. You never know! Therefore, don’t forget to carry a mask along when going to the mandi.                

It is your turn to be Sherlock Holmes 

The tick insect (culprit for Congo virus) is present near the ear, tail and the abdominal area of the animal. You need to play the role of a detective while surveying the animal and make sure to look for the insects in the mentioned areas.

Look out for the symptoms!

Have you suddenly started feeling unwell? Are you having stomach cramps? Feeling fatigued? Well, if you are facing any of these symptoms then rush to the emergency doctor at your nearest hospital and get yourself tested. You might have been a victim of this life-threatening disease. So, start this treatment before it gets worse.

Keep safe distance while slaughtering

Even while slaughtering the animal, you need to follow a certain set of precautions. Wear gloves and clothes that cover you. And avoid as much contact from the blood and fluids of the animal as you can. You can never be sure if the animal is free of virus or not, therefore be safe and keep people around you safe.

Have a happy Eid!

This virus has no treatment or vaccines; therefore you need to take the utmost precaution to avoid it. You can never get to know if an animal has been infected or not, so cover yourself properly while touching any animal. Remember you can only have a happy Eid if you are healthy, so stay healthy, eat some meat and stay safe!

Let the purchasing of some meat begin!

Note: Congo virus does not survive high temperatures, and well-cooked meat does not pose any risk of transmission of the virus.




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