By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
Health officials in Namibia reported a confirmed Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) case from Outapi District Hospital in Omusati region on Sep. 12.
The case is from Oukwandongo village in Cunene province, Angola, bordering Oukwandongo village in Outapi district, Namibia.
No death has been reported.
The World Health Organization says CCHF outbreaks have been recurrent in Namibia in the past two years, with cases reported from Omaheke, Omusati and Kharas regions. The last recorded outbreak occurred in March 2018 in Kharas region, where one fatal confirmed case was reported.
The current outbreak arises in the context of a national drought emergency that can intensify the risk of transmission and geographical spread of the disease, with livestock movements from arid to less dry areas, if mitigating measures are not implemented in a timely manner.
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.
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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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