One of my many cousins is a man named Jehanzaib: we all call him Zaib. He lived in Karachi, Pakistan, with his wife and three infant children.
About a week ago, he fell quite ill. I do not know the initial symptoms. He went to the hospital, they checked him, put in an IV (a “drip” as they call it there - it seems to be an expected part of any treatment requiring a trip to the hospital). After some them, they let him go home. He drove himself home. No problems. Very soon after reaching his home, he suddenly fell drastically ill. He had a high fever and began to bleed from his mouth. He was rushed to the hospital. He was in a very, very bad shape. Any time they would insert a needle, he would bleed profusely. His kidneys failed. They began doing dialysis. They say that while circulating his blood in and out, you could smell the stench of the bad blood floors away. He was unconscious for the most part. Nevertheless, he was never alone. Someone was always there with him.
A few days later, his heart stopped, and he died. His case was so bad that the hospital called Eidhi - a charity service - to dispose of him. They washed his body as well as they could, put his remains in a coffin, and buried him. Now, the coffin part is significant - the practice in Pakistan is to transport the body in a bier and then to put the shroud-covered body into the grave. Coffins are not used. But they needed to use a coffin for him. The Eidhi people also refused to let anyone see him after he died. They had a very hard time handling him: he was so fragile and dismemberable.
The doctors say that he contracted some sort of “Congo virus,” like Ebola. They say he did so when he recently went to Quetta, in Balochistan (which is near the tribal areas, Afghanistan, and the Patthan-dominated Northwest Frontier Province). Evidently, outbreaks of viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) in that area is not unknown. How did this virus reach Quetta of all places? Would this one incident in Karachi trigger an epidemic episode?
All my relatives and family are in shock and deep sorrow. His wife and kids living in Pakistan will now have to survive on the charity of relatives, unless she can get married, which would not be easy. This happened so fast. We’re still confused as to what exactly happened, how it happened, and so on.
I just hope no one else will get infected. From what I have read, these viridae are highly contagious. If this is so, our present sorrow will only be the beginning.
Please, if someone has more information about VHF, especially the strains in Pakistan, I would greatly appreciate any information.