The Palghar administration in Maharashtra on Tuesday asked the authorities to stay alert against a possible spread of the Congo fever in the district.

The Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), which is also known as the Congo fever, transmits in humans through ticks.

The district administration said that this is a matter of concern for cattle- breeders, meat-sellers and animal husbandry officials amid COVID-19.

The authorities need to take necessary precautions and implement preventive measures as there is no specific and useful treatment for the fever.

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Palghar animal husbandry department’s deputy commissioner Dr Prashant D Kamble, in a circular, said that the CCHF has been found in some districts of Gujarat and is likely to spread to border districts of Maharashtra.

“This viral disease is transmitted from one animal to another by a specific type of tick…the disease is transmitted to humans through contact with the blood of infected animals and by eating the meat of infected animals,” the circular said.

“If the disease is not diagnosed and treated in time, 30% of patients die,” it added.

The disease is caused by a tick-borne virus (Nairovirus) of the Bunyaviridae family. The virus causes severe viral haemorrhagic fever outbreaks, with a case fatality rate of 10 to 40%, as per the World Health Organisation (WHO).

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Currently, there are no vaccines available for people or animals against CCHF.

The disease raises concern as it can transmit from one person to another via blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected persons.

According to WHO, hospital-acquired infections can also occur due to improper sterilisation of medical equipment, reuse of needles and contamination of medical supplies.