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Deadly 'Congo fever' kills three in India

19 January 11 07:00

A rare deadly virus has killed three people in India for the first time ever, health officials said.

The National Institute of Virology (NIV) confirmed the deaths were caused by the Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever, also known as the 'Congo fever'.

The dead included a woman who was infected with the virus, and the doctor and the nurse who treated her at a hospital in the western Ahmedabad city.

Two relatives of the dead woman have also been admitted to hospital.

"This is a very deadly virus, but there is no need to panic," Gujarat state Health Minister Jayanarayan Vyas said.

Two more cases - the husband and brother of the dead woman Amina Momin - are in hospital, Mr Vyas said.

"They are being treated and their condition is stable," he added.

Twenty teams of health officials have been fanned out within 5km area from the Kolat village in Gujarat state and are officials say no fresh cases have come to light.

"We are not leaving any thing to chance. We are confident that with the measures taken we will be able to contain the disease," Mr Vyas said.

Congo Crimea Haemorrhagic Fever is a viral haemorrhagic fever transmitted by ticks and causes bleeding from the skin, mouth and nose.

The virus can also transmit from animals to humans.

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