Congo Fever alert

24 Feb 2017 12:00pm
WINDHOEK, 24 FEB (NAMPA) - The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) is on high alert after one fatality related to Congo Fever was reported in the Omahake Region on Wednesday.
A 26-year-old man died from the Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) after he was bitten by a tick on 18 February 2017 at the Kalahari Constituency of the Omaheke Region, where he was employed.
Congo Fever, which is caused by a tick-borne virus, causes severe viral haemorrhagic fever outbreaks. The virus is primarily transmitted to people from ticks and livestock animals or through human-to-human transmission from close contact with blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected persons.
MoHSS Permanent Secretary, Andreas Mwoombola told the media Friday the now deceased person sought medical attention at the Gobabis District Hospital on 18 February but tested negative for Malaria, and was treated for diarrhoea, fever and coughing, and thereafter discharged.
He was however admitted into hospital when he started vomiting blood at home.
Mwoombola indicated that the patient was treated for Upper gastrointestinal bleeding, and blood was drawn and sent for laboratory testing in South Africa.
“The patient was isolated with supportive management. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was used by staff that attended to the patient and when blood specimens were collected,” he said.
An immediate burial was undertaken by environmental health practitioners on Thursday, whereby the body was disinfected with hypochlorite and sealed in two body bags.
The clothing and linen used by the deceased were also disposed of in the same bags after disinfection.
He added that so far interviews have been conducted with family members and the owner of the farm to identify additional cases.
Oone doctor and four nurses who attended to the diseased, have been quarantined and are being monitored.
Mwoombola explained that there is no vaccine available for either animals or people infected with CCHF.
“Any person who is bitten by a tick should not take it lightly and should report to the nearest clinic, especially farmworkers who are at risk,” Mwoombola said.