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Alkhurma Hemorrhagic Fever

Alkhurma Hemorrhagic Fever was first discovered in the City of Saudi Arabia in 1995. After the victim had slaughtered a sheep he began to have a fever. The identified cause of his fever was the Flavivirus. Alkhurma is a disease caused by Alkhurma Hemorrhagic Fever Virus. That belongs to Flavivirus family.

“Flavivirus” is a virus that belongs to any of the group of RNA viruses. It can get through mosquitoes, flies, and tick that feed on human blood. This virus that carries the vectors causes serious diseases including:

  • Dengue
  • Yellow Fever
  • Types of Encephalitis
  • Hepatitis C
  • Zika Virus

TRANSMISSION

Alkhurma virus is spread when bitten by the tick vector. It can also transmit by contact with the infected blood on the skin or wounds during slaughtering. This is the main reason why butchers get infected by this virus.

This virus can also transmit by drinking the infected dairy products such as the camel. There is no reported case of transmission through non-pasteurized milk or from human to human. 

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

The disease of the virus occurs to have flu-like symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Anorexia (having loss of appetite)
  • Malaise
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

In some cases, a patient may experience a severe form of symptoms which leads to a fatal outcome. This includes neurologic and hemorrhagic symptoms. The failure of the human organs may lead to death.

RISK EXPOSURE

Butchers in a slaughterhouse and people in the farm are at risk of getting the disease. The following are the risk of exposure to this disease:

  • Having contact with livestock
  • Contact with infected tick through squeezing or crushing
  • A bite from the infected tick
  • The slaughtering of an infected animal
  • Touching the blood of the infected animal with unprotected finger

DIAGNOSIS

A diagnosis is suggested to a person having this disease. In some cases, it is hard to diagnose this disease due to similarities between AVHF, CCHF and RVF that occurs in the same areas. The molecular detection such as the ELISA or Serologic Testing can detect the virus isolation from the blood in early stages.

TREATMENT

There is no stated treatment in having this disease. Patients receive therapy according to the signs noticed by the doctor. The therapy given by the doctor includes:

  • The balancing of fluid and electrolytes of a patient.
  • Maintaining the oxygen status and blood pressure
  • Treatment for any complications

PREVENTION

Practicing some preventive measures is the best option to get rid of tick since there is no treatment given in this disease.

  • Stay away from tick areas.
  • Use tick repellent on skin and clothes.
  • Checking the skin for an attached tick and remove as soon as possible.
  • Putting a pesticide on livestock to kill the tick.
  • Butchers must be cautious.
  • The use of tick collars on domestic animals.