The Uganda Ministry of Health (MOH) reported Saturday that a 32-year old female who died at Naguru Hospital died as a result of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), not Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), according to an MOH press release.

Map of Uganda/Alvaro1984 18
Map of Uganda/Alvaro1984 18

Laboratory analysis on the blood sample sent to the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) confirmed CCHF.

The deceased first presented with disease signs on Saturday, August 19th 2018 and first sought treatment at St. Agnes clinic in Bukerere before being referred to Naguru Hospital on Monday 20th 2018.

Her blood sample was collected and submitted to UVRI for investigations on Wednesday, August 22nd after her situation had worsened. However, she unfortunately died in the evening of that same day.

The deceased has been staying with her family in Bukerere, Mukono district but originally hails from Rwembogo village Matete Parish in Sembabule district.

The Ministry of Health through its Public Health Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) has already supplied a burial bag and also dispatched a medical team that will accord the deceased a safe burial in her home district of Sembabule.

LISTEN: Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever: Increasing spread predicted

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.