KEETMANSHOOP, 12 APR – Health officials on Wednesday released the 35 people who were placed under quarantine in Keetmanshoop on suspicion that they may have been exposed to Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.
The //Kharas Region Director of Health, Dr Bartholomeus Muntenda confirmed their release from the Keetmanshoop State Hospital on Thursday.
“They were released as they did not show any signs of having contracted the disease after being observed for two weeks,” Muntenda said.
Some of those who were under quarantine were relatives of the 37-year-old 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.
Muntenda said despite the clearance given, it does not mean the community should stop practicing the precautions that are in place.
“We still have to be careful as we do not know which ticks have the virus,” he said.
According to health officials, Congo Fever can be avoided by quarantining animals before they enter slaughterhouses or routinely treating animals with pesticides two weeks prior to slaughter; as well as avoid contact with an infected person and with the corpse of someone who died of the disease.
Asked whether people traveling in and out of the region are at risk, especially with the Nama Cultural Festival taking place in May, the director said there is no need for people to fear.
He however said they must take the prescribed precautions.
“We must understand that this fever is not spread by airborne transmission, but through contact with infected persons or animals,” Muntenda said.