Ugandan health officials have confirmed that a health worker has died of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) at the end of December, according to a Daily Monitor report.
This is part of an outbreak in Masindi District in Western Uganda. The disease has been confirmed in Kikingura village in Bwijanga Sub County.
According to Mr Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the senior public relations officer at the Ministry of Health, the deceased was given a supervised burial by medical officers to ensure that mourners are not exposed to any possible infection.
According to the WHO, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever is a widespread disease caused by a tick-borne virus (Nairovirus) of the Bunyaviridae family. The CCHF virus causes severe viral hemorrhagic fever outbreaks, with a case fatality rate of 10–40%.
CCHF is endemic in Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and Asian countries south of the 50th parallel north – the geographical limit of the principal tick vector. The hosts of the CCHF virus include a wide range of wild and domestic animals such as cattle, sheep and goats.
Animals become infected by the bite of infected ticks and the virus remains in their bloodstream for about one week after infection, allowing the tick-animal-tick cycle to continue when another tick bites. Although a number of tick genera are capable of becoming infected with CCHF virus, ticks of the genus Hyalomma are the principal vector.
The CCHF virus is transmitted to people either by tick bites or through contact with infected animal blood or tissues during and immediately after slaughter. The majority of cases have occurred in people involved in the livestock industry, such as agricultural workers, slaughterhouse workers and veterinarians. Human-to-human transmission is possible.
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