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Uganda confirms Crimean-Congo Hemor-
rhagic Fever outbreak in central region 

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Uganda’s health ministry on Monday confirmed an outbreak of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) in the central district of Nakaseke.

Sarah Opendi, state minister for health, told Xinhua that the laboratory results of the samples taken from a 9-year-old suspected case who has been under isolation at Kiwoko Hospital, Nakaseke tested positive of the fever.

She said a National Rapid Response team from the Ministry of Health and that of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries has been dispatched to Nakaseke and Luweero districts to handle the outbreak.

“Results from Uganda Virus Research Institute, Entebbe tested positive for the Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever and negative for other viral Hemorrhagic Fevers like Ebola, Marburg, Rift Valley Fever and Sosuga,” said Opendi.

The confirmation of the CCHF comes barely two weeks after the ministry of health denied the outbreak.

On Jan. 5, Opendi told reporters that the samples taken from the suspected 9-year-old boy tested negative of CCHF, contrary to the claims from Nakaseke districts authorities on the outbreak.

The minister on Monday dismissed reports that an 8-year-old girl from Kagugo village, Luweero district succumbed to the fever.

“The laboratory results from the deceased’s blood samples tested negative for CCHF and other viral Hemorrhagic fevers. The Ministry of Health is continuing to investigate the possible cause of the death of this young girl in collaboration with partners,” said Opendi.

Crimean-Congo is a tick-borne illness transmitted to humans through tick bites. It is also be transmitted through contact with the blood of infected animals especially during slaughter.

It can also be transmitted through direct contact with the blood, secretions and the organs of infected people.

Nosocomial transmission can occur through contaminated medical equipment or body fluid from infected persons.

A CCHF outbreak constitutes a threat to public health, according to the World Health Organization.

According to the global health body, the fever is associated with high case fatality ratio of about 10-40 percent, which is endemic in Africa, the Balkans and the Middle East. 



Tanzania records 33,421 cases of cholera since August 2015: WHO

ARUSHA, Tanzania (Xinhua) -- A total of 33,421 cases of cholera were reported across all 26 regions of Tanzania from August 15, 2015 to January 7 this year, according to a report released on Monday by the World Health Organization (WHO).

WHO said in the report that Tanzania mainland accounted for 86 percent of the cases which caused 542 deaths (fatality rate of 1.62 percent).

The report shows that children under five years old accounted for 11.4 percent of cases and since the beginning of the outbreak, over 7,000 specimens were tested for cholera and 47 percent came out positive for Vibrio cholera.

As for 2017 alone, the report showed that from 1 January through 31 December, some 4,985 cases including 99 deaths were reported in Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar.

But the report noted that the number of cases as well as the geographical spread of cholera has markedly reduced compared to the two previous years. During the same period in 2016, some 14, 547 cases and 225 deaths were reported in the country.

“Zanzibar has reported no cases since the last case was reported on 11 July 2017, however high population movement to and from Tanzania Mainland still poses a risk of spread to Zanzibar,” the report reads.

WHO noted in its report that active cholera transmission has persisted in Tanzania Mainland, with Mbeya and Songwe Regions being the most active and the country remains vulnerable to the late detection due to the weak surveillance systems.

It further warned that the closure of the fishing camps along Lake Rukwa on the Songwe Region border forced the fishermen to move further south to Kyela District which borders Malawi’s Karonga District.

The report states: “Malawi recently reported a cholera outbreak in Karonga. Cross-border population movement between the two countries might further increase the risk of transmission in Malawi. Other neighbouring countries such as DRC, Burundi, Zambia and Kenya are already experiencing large cholera outbreaks. The risk at the regional level is high.”

For Tanzania to bring an end to the disease, WHO recommended proper and timely case management in cholera treatment centers in the country and improvement of access to potable water and sanitation infrastructure and improved hygiene and food safety practices in affected communities.



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