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Namibia confirms outbreak of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever

Namibia confirms outbreak of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever

Zorena Jantze

THE Ministry of Health and Social Services has announced an outbreak of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), with one patient dying from the infection this week.

According to Ben Nangombe, the Executive Director within the ministry, on May 16, 2023, a male patient suspected of having CCHF was treated at a health facility in Gobabis.

He was referred to Lady Pohamba Private Hospital on May 17, 2023, and in the early hours of May 18, 2023, the patient was transferred to Windhoek Central Hospital’s isolation unit, where blood samples for CCHF were taken. Unfortunately, the patient passed away on the same day.

On May 21, 2023, laboratory results confirmed that the patient was positive for Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF).

Starting from May 18, a total of 27 contacts were identified, including 24 health workers, one co-worker of the deceased, and two household contacts.

Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever caused by a neurovirus. It is transmitted to humans through tick bites or by crushing ticks, as well as by contact with the body fluids of an infected patient during the acute phase of infection or with blood or tissues from livestock with CCHF.

Symptoms of CCHF include headaches, high fever, back pain, stomach pain, and vomiting.

Nangombe stated that Health Emergency Committees have been activated in the Khomas and Omaheke regions, as well as at the national level.

“The public is urged not to panic but to cooperate, support, and comply with the control measures put in place in order to contain and prevent further spread of the infection. All persons who were in contact with the patient are requested to report to their nearest health facility,” concluded Nangombe.

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