Health Ministry Confirms Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Case in Uganda

Dr Henry Mwebesa, the Acting Director General Health Services in the Ministry of Health.

There is one confirmed case of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) in Uganda, the Ministry of Health says.

In a statement issued Monday, Dr Henry Mwebesa, the Acting Director General Health Services in the Ministry of Health said the deceased who died on April 11, was a 32-years-old male and a resident of Kasenyi parish Katabi sub-county in Wakiso district.

“His body was transported and buried in Butagaya village, Jinja at a mosque burial ground on Friday 12th April, 2019. A blood sample obtained from the deceased tested positive for CCHF by PCR at Uganda Research Institute on 11th April, 2018,” said Mwebesa in a statement.

He says the Health Ministry in conjunction with Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, have already dispatched a team to Jinja and Wakiso districts to monitor contacts of the deceased and offer all possible support. Public health education will also provided to people to avoid further spread, he said.

Although Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) is a serious disease which kills humans in a short time, it can be prevented.

The virus causes severe viral haemorrhagic fever (VHF) outbreaks in humans and its outbreaks can cause death to about 40% of the people who get the infection.

It is transmitted to people from ticks and wild and domestic animals and
spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission, through contact with blood, other body secretions or tissues of infected humans or animals and there is no vaccine available for either people or animals.

Some of the common signs of the deadly disease include sudden on-set of high fever, headache, back pain, joint pain, abdominal pain, dizziness (feeling that you are losing your balance and about to fall), neck pain and stiffness.

In addition, the person can also have nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, sore throat, sharp mood swings, confusion, bleeding, bruising or a rash and after 2 or 4 days, the patient may experience sleeplessness and depression.

To prevent the disease, a person should check him/herself for ticks after working with animals and remove them immediately and if animals are infested with ticks, he/she should spray them using a recommended acaricide to kill the ticks.

People should avoid direct physical contact with body fluids such as blood, saliva, vomitous, stool, urine and sweat from infected persons and in case of any contact with a suspected patient, a person should wash your hands with soap and water immediately.

Skin piercing instruments which have been used by a person suspected to have CCHF should not be used and direct contact with dead bodies of people who have died of Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic fever should be avoided.

In another health related matter, DrDr Mwebe has regarded as false social media reports claiming that there is an outbreak of Ebola virus disease in some districts of Western Uganda.

“As of today, no confirmed case of Ebola Virus Disease in the country. Therefore, there should be no cause for alarm. The public is advised to disregard all the rumours making rounds on social media, but always seek accurate information from the Ministry of Health,” Mwebesa wrote.

Government has recently intensified monitoring districts at risk of Ebola outbreak especially those at the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo which already hit by the disease, where hundreds have died of Ebola and over one thousand cases were confirmed by Congolese authorities.

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