Event Report

Event Description

Biological Hazard in Pakistan on Sunday, 13 March, 2011 at 02:58 (02:58 AM) UTC.

At least 50 animals, mostly cows, have died due to a mysterious disease in different villages of Gadap Town in just 3 days, creating panic among the local herdsmen. Salim Memon of the Karachi Rural Network (KRN), representing 40 non governmental organisations, said that they were collecting the data about the loss of animals in different villages. He said that, so far, the herdsmen could not ascertain the exact cause of the death of the animals. A Gadap Town official, who was reluctant to be named, told The News that he has also received information regarding the death of 25 cows in different villages during the last 24 hours. He stated that there are 3 veterinary hospitals in the town, including one major hospital in Gadap city built in 1965, another in Memon Goth and the 3rd one in Pathan Goth. Apart from this, he said the town had also launched a mobile veterinary clinic to facilitate the livestock owners in the villages. The facility of mobile veterinary clinic was active 4 months back, but now it is inactive. He added that since the staff in veterinary hospitals was appointed on political basis, they are reluctant to attend their respective hospitals and are drawing their monthly salaries. That is why herdsmen are approaching the authorities for help. He said the herdsmen are unable to take their animals to a nearby hospital because they die as soon as they are hit by this strange disease. A herdsman of Gadap said that he had lost 4 cows and he had never witnessed this kind of disease before. They fall and die immediately, he informed this correspondent. According to the data collected from some of the villages in Gadap Town, 4 cows have died in Hamzo Gabol Goth, 3 in Khamiso Goth and 7 cows died in Arif Rind Goth. The local herdsmen were of the view that stagnant water might be the cause of this disease in which animals die instantly, while others believe that there might be a poisonous insect in the green grass, which affects the animals.
Biohazard name: Unidentified animal Disease (Mass Die-off)
Biohazard level: 4/4 Hazardous
Biohazard desc.: Viruses and bacteria that cause severe to fatal disease in humans, and for which vaccines or other treatments are not available, such as Bolivian and Argentine hemorrhagic fevers, H5N1(bird flu), Dengue hemorrhagic fever, Marburg virus, Ebola virus, hantaviruses, Lassa fever, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, and other hemorrhagic or unidentified diseases. When dealing with biological hazards at this level the use of a Hazmat suit and a self-contained oxygen supply is mandatory. The entrance and exit of a Level Four biolab will contain multiple showers, a vacuum room, an ultraviolet light room, autonomous detection system, and other safety precautions designed to destroy all traces of the biohazard. Multiple airlocks are employed and are electronically secured to prevent both doors opening at the same time. All air and water service going to and coming from a Biosafety Level 4 (P4) lab will undergo similar decontamination procedures to eliminate the possibility of an accidental release.
Status: suspected

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