The Namibia Ministry of Health and Social Services reports an outbreak of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) after a man died of the disease in a Windhoek hospital.
On May 21, laboratory testing was positive for the CCHF virus.
A total of 27 contacts were identified, of which, 24 were health care workers.
According to protocols from the health ministry and the WHO, one lab confirmed CCHF case in a jurisdiction constitutes an outbreak.
Namibia has recorded six CCHF outbreaks since 2016, with a total of three deaths, the health ministry said.
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%.
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.
The virus is widespread in some countries of Africa and Asia, in the Balkans, the Middle East and in the south of the European part of Russia.
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