New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda: Congo Crimean Haemorrhagic Fever Confirmed

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Mulago hospital in Uganda confirms the first case of Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever.

The ministry of health has confirmed an outbreak of the Congo Crimean Haemorrhagic Fever in the northern district of Agago.

State minister for health in charge of general duties, Dr Elioda Tumwesigye Friday confirmed that one person had tested positive to the deadly haemorrhagic fever.

"The ministry of health informs the general public that a haemorrhagic fever outbreak has been confirmed in Amot sub-county, Agago district," the minister said at a press briefing in Kampala.

The ministry, however, dismissed earlier reports that linked the haemorrhagic fever to Ebola.

"This disease is not Ebola, although it also causes bleeding. It is not Marburg either. People should remain calm because Uganda has the capacity to containable it," the minister stated.

The first confirmed victim of the Congo Crimean Haemorrhagic Fever is admitted at Kalongo Hospital in Agago district where he is receiving treatment.

Six other people suspected to have come into contact with the patient are under surveillance at the Hospital. The health ministry is also investigating three earlier deaths linked to the disease.

The disease is caused by a tick-borne virus (Nairo-Virus) which causes severe haemorrhagic fever and kills up to 40% of people infected.

Congo Crimean Haemorrhagic Fever is spread by wild and domestic animals. The virus is transmitted to human through bites of infected ticks on animals such as cattle, sheep and goats.

A person who is infected with the disease may present with headache, high fever, back pain, joint muscle pain and bleeding from body parts. Other signs and symptoms may include stomach ache, red eyes, red throat and vomiting.

According to the minister, it is the first ever outbreak of the disease in Uganda.

The first case, who is a male farmer from Baroma village in Atece parish, fell ill on August 8 complaining of high fever, general body weakness, muscle pain and bleeding from some body parts.

One person has been confirmed dead and 6 under strict surveillance of Haemorrhagic fever outbreak in Amot sub-county in Agago district.

According to the statement issued by the Ministry of health samples from obtained from one person have tested positive for Congo Crimean haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF).

Tumwesigye said the ministry had sent a team of specialists to Agago district to examine the origin of the disease. The ministry has also set a hotline for the public to report such cases on 075996034.

He advised the public to avoid direct contact with animals, as well as getting into contact with body fluids from suspected cases.

He also advised residents to wear long sleeved to avoid tick bites and report suspected cases to nearby health facilities.

World Health Organisation, Country Representative Dr Wondimagegnehu Alemu, said there would be no immediate advisory against travel to Uganda since the disease was under control.

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Mulago hospital in Uganda confirms the first case of Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever.

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