Sheep slaughter house abattoir
Oman’s Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources (MAFWR) has urged residents to follow preventive guidelines while buying and selling animals. Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News archive

Muscat: Oman’s Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources (MAFWR) has urged citizens and residents to follow preventive guidelines to protect against Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever by avoiding tick bites when dealing with animals, both when buying and selling.

The report carried by a leading Arabic news site quoted Dr Khaled bin Muslim al Sulaymani, a veterinarian at the Department of Animal Health, as saying that the Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever is a dangerous viral disease that affects humans, causing fever and severe disease symptoms that may even be fatal.

He added that the disease is transmitted to humans through tick bites or direct contact with the blood or tissues of infected animals during or immediately after slaughter. The disease also affects various animals such as sheep, goats, cows and camels with infection by an insect. He emphasised that the ministry continues to coordinate with the competent authorities in educating the public about this disease.

He said that the ministry seeks to control the disease and limit its spread among the livestock herds by combating ticks by spraying the barns with appropriate pesticides as well as quarantining imported animals in veterinary quarantines. Sulaymani also indicated that the preventive measures that must be taken into account are wearing gloves, shoes, and light-coloured clothes, as ticks can be easily detected and disposed of. He also advised against unhealthy handling of ticks such as crushing them by hand, and to choose animals free of ticks and other external parasites.