Congo fever fears rise

09 May 2019 | Health

The Ontananga area in the Oshikoto Region is under surveillance after one patient tested positive for the highly contagious Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) and another died.

Health officials in the Oshikoto Region are yet to confirm if the man who died at the Onandjokwe Lutheran Hospital and was buried on Tuesday afternoon had Congo fever.

The man, who is suspected to be from Ontananga, was given an undignified burial, thrown into his grave by a front-end loader at the Onandjokwe old cemetery. He was buried immediately after his death.

The acting health director for Oshikoto, Dr Helena Nkandi-Shiimi, told Namibian Sun that the 78-year-old man died upon arrival at the hospital and was suspected to have died of Congo fever.

His death came a day after the ministry of health had announced a confirmed Congo fever case at the same hospital.

The patient is a woman who was admitted on 26 April.

“The person admitted with Congo fever on 26 April at Onandjokwe hospital is stable and improving. She is 54 and is in an isolation room. The person who passed away Tuesday was a 78-year-old man who is a suspected but not yet confirmed case and can therefore not be said to have died of CCHF until the results are out,” said Nkandi-Shiimi.





The health ministry said that it will take up to three days to get test results from the National Institute Communicable Diseases Regional Reference Laboratory in South Africa.

Congo fever is a viral zoonotic (animal to human) disease caused by infection with a tick-borne virus. The hosts of the ticks who carry the virus are mostly wild and domestic animals including cattle, sheep and goats. These animals become infected after being bitten by infected ticks and the virus remains in their bloodstream for about two weeks after infection, allowing the tick-animal-tick cycle to continue when another tick bites the animal.

Human transmission can occur when someone is bitten by an infected tick or comes into direct contact with the blood or tissue of an infected animal or person. Congo fever can be transmitted from one infected human to another by contact with infected blood or body fluids. In humans, Congo fever can present with several symptoms including sudden onset of high-grade fever, muscle aches, neck pains, neck stiffness, backache, headache, sore eyes, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and sometimes bleeding from body cavities.

On Monday, the executive director in the health ministry, Ben Nangombe, announced that a 54-year-old woman from Ontananga village tested positive for Congo fever.

The regional health emergency management committee was activated on 26 April, while preliminary environmental assessments are under way in the affected areas. Remedial measures for an outbreak are also being put into place.

The last outbreak of the disease was in February 2017 when a farmworker from the Omaheke Region died in the Gobabis State Hospital. At the time, the health ministry reported that a nurse treated a patient with Congo fever. The owner of Harnas Wildlife Foundation east of Gobabis, Nick van der Merwe, died of Congo fever in 2001, also after working his cattle and being bitten by a tick.

This new confirmed case is the fifth case reported in Namibia in 16 years.

ILENI NANDJATO

Similar News

 

Oshakati hospital rundown, understaffed

1 day - 19 September 2019 | Health

The 750-bed Oshakati Intermediary Hospital, which serves close to a million patients a year, is operating without a paediatrician, neonatologist, neurosurgeon, dietician, clinical psychologist and...

To the brave souls walking among us

3 days ago - 17 September 2019 | Health

The dictionary defines brave as ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage. More often than not it is the ‘visible’ bravery that...

Health services around the clock

3 days ago - 17 September 2019 | Health

The Katutura health centre, which offers a lifeline to thousands of people each year, will now be operating 24 hours a day, seven days a...

Congo fever outbreak in Omusati

3 days ago - 17 September 2019 | Health

The health ministry has confirmed an outbreak of Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) in the Omusati Region.Its executive director, Ben Nangombe, said in a media statement...

What on earth are you doing?

3 days ago - 17 September 2019 | Health

Justicia Shipena While cleaning up waste and the beautification of the environment are important and essential practices, unless there is systemic change that...

Stilte is gevaarlik

3 days ago - 17 September 2019 | Health

Henriette Lamprecht - As kind het hy gedink hy’s die enigste een op die planeet wat met donker gedagtes en algemene angs leef. Op hoërskool...

The ‘end’ of his life was only the beginning

3 days ago - 17 September 2019 | Health

Henriette Lamprecht – He’s the owner of a short-term insurance brokerage, a motivational speaker and his purpose is to inspire others.Meet 31-year-old Egon Mouton from...

The scent of health

3 days ago - 17 September 2019 | Health

Henriette Lamprecht – It’s as simple as using essential oils in various ways to improve a specific condition or general wellbeing. The sacred ceremonial art...

Mindfulness makes you smart

3 days ago - 17 September 2019 | Health

Sigi Lange, cofounder of Capacity Trust and professional speaker, is a guru on emotional intelligence, which is a big factor in determining work-related success. “The...

Surviving rape: Changed but stronger

3 days ago - 17 September 2019 | Health

Henriette Lamprecht – Nobody expects someone they trust to hurt them. Lisa* had known John* for two years and had been to parties with him...

Latest News

Snuffed out

5 hours ago | Accidents

JANA-MARI SMITHA total of 101 people have died in 335 car crashes around Namibia in the past month.Experts agree that driver attitudes, and passengers' acceptance...

We need a lasting solution

5 hours ago | Columns

We have dedicated our front page today to all those who have lost their lives in road crashes this past month. Given our space constraints...

25 years for axe murderer

5 hours ago | Justice

A Rundu man has been sentenced to 25 years behind bars for killing his grandfather with a traditional axe, a panga and a knife after...

Liquidators hunt N$1bn

5 hours ago | Justice

The liquidators of the SME Bank claim that Enock Kamushinda, the Metropolitan Bank of Zimbabwe (MetBank) and World Eagle Investments should be held liable for...

Orphan fraud case ready for...

5 hours ago | Justice

The case of a local estate administrator, who stands accused of fraud and embezzling funds belonging to several orphaned children between 2015 and 2017, is...

PDK heats it up

5 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

First things first; PDK's Saka music video is the best Namibian music video shot in 2019 - let's just get that out of the way....

Timo Kevin drops debut album

5 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

It is quite a spectacle to witness a unique artist popping up on the music scene and remaining true to themselves until their presence is...

One Africa TV expands its...

5 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

In a move aimed at taking its vibrant and diverse content even further beyond the boundaries of traditional media, One Africa TV (OATV) signed a...

The fight upcoming artists endure

5 hours ago | Columns

The tenacity of upcoming artists to never give up in the face of countless 'no's' given to them is what eventually takes them into the...

Load More