KEETMANSHOOP, 08 APR – The Primary Health Care Supervisor of the Keetmanshoop District has called for assistance for the families of people placed under quarantine on suspicion they may have been exposed to Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.
Speaking at a meeting held here on Friday to update health officials on the Congo fever outbreak, Rauna Namukwambi said of the 36 people placed under quarantine, some could have been the breadwinners of their families.
She urged the //Kharas community to assist the families with whatever resources they can.
“As we all know, those suspected to have Congo fever are under quarantine and this means they cannot provide for their families, that is why your assistance is needed,” she said.
Of the 36 people placed under quarantine, eight are believed to be at high risk.
Some of them had contact with the 37-year-old Keetmanshoop man who died on 27 March after he was diagnosed with the disease. The man was bitten by a tick while he was busy helping his neighbour to slaughter a cow.
Health officials and representatives of the //Kharas Regional Council will meet on Tuesday to further discuss the outbreak.
According to World Health Organisation guidelines, one confirmed case of Congo fever constitutes an outbreak.
The disease is caused by a tick-borne virus and causes severe viral haemorrhagic fever outbreaks.
It 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.
Symptoms of Congo Fever include fever, myalgia (muscle ache), dizziness, neck pain and stiffness, backache, headache, sore eyes and sensitivity to light. There may be nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and sore throat early on, followed by sharp mood swings and confusion.