WINDHOEK, 04 APR – A 37-year-old man died in the Windhoek Central Hospital Tuesday morning after he was diagnosed with Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever.
A media statement issued by the Ministry of Health and Social Services Wednesday said the deceased was transferred from the Keetmanshoop State Hospital in the //Kharas Region on 27 March 2018.
The man had helped a neighbour to slaughter a cow that was reported to be infested with ticks on 21 March 2018.
“Upon arrival at the hospital on 27 March, he presented symptoms of Congo Fever and was transferred to the Windhoek Central Hospital where he was kept in the isolation unit after he tested positive for Congo Fever on 30 March,” the statement said.
The ministry’s surveillance team in Keetmanshoop are busy tracing people the man was in contact with. A rapid response team has also been dispatched to the district, with officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry’s veterinary department forming part of the team.
According to the World Health Organisation, one case of Congo Fever constitutes as an outbreak.
The disease is caused by a tick-borne virus and 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.
Symptoms of Congo Fever include fever, myalgia (muscle ache), dizziness, neck pain and stiffness, backache, headache, sore eyes and photophobia (sensitivity to light). There may be nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and sore throat early on, followed by sharp mood swings and confusion.