Emergencies preparedness, response

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) and Dengue in Pakistan

As of 15 October, the IHR National Focal Point, Ministry of Health (MoH), Pakistan, has notified WHO of 26 cases, including 3 deaths, of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF). In addition, over 1500 laboratory-confirmed cases of dengue fever including 15 deaths have also been reported from Pakistan so far.

Both CCHF and dengue fever are endemic in Pakistan with seasonal rise in cases. However, recently, the transmission of both CCHF and dengue fever has intensified in the country with increased incidence and geographic expansion. The recent Pakistan floods may have contributed to this upsurge as a result of changes in risk factors for these diseases.

Operational response

The MoH has scaled up response activities to prevent and mitigate CCHF and dengue fever, including awareness-raising campaigns on exposure risks and preventive measures for the general public, strengthening clinical and case management of patients with haemorrhagic fevers, stockpiling appropriate drugs and personal protective equipment, and implementing targeted vector control activities.

Upon request from the MoH in Pakistan, WHO is mobilizing experts in the clinical management of severe dengue fever and in infection control in health care settings through the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN). WHO is also assisting the country with resource mobilization, strengthening disease surveillance, laboratory diagnostics, and training of health care providers.