...By Jack Sylva for TDPel Media.
Health authorities in Namibia have confirmed an outbreak of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever following the death of an individual in the town of Gobabis.
The Ministry of Health and Social Services stated that laboratory tests conducted on the male patient confirmed the presence of the illness.
The patient, who was initially admitted to a clinic in Gobabis on May 16th, was suspected of having the virus.
He was placed in isolation and later transferred to Windhoek Central Hospital, where he passed away on May 18th.
A total of 27 individuals who came into contact with the infected patient have been identified, with 24 of them being health workers.
They are currently under observation for any signs of the virus.
Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever is a tick-borne virus that can be transmitted between humans through close contact with blood or bodily fluids.
The World Health Organization reports a fatality rate of 10 to 40% for the disease.
Symptoms of the virus include fever, vomiting, dizziness, light sensitivity, and muscle aches, which can lead to organ failure and internal bleeding.
The symptoms can rapidly progress and cause severe illness.
The virus was first identified in Crimea in 1944, and recent outbreaks in Africa have been reported, including a case in Senegal in April.
The Namibian government has established a health emergency committee to prevent further transmission and is closely monitoring all contacts of the deceased in Gobabis and Windhoek.
The country previously experienced an outbreak of the fever in 2016, with a total of six cases and three deaths recorded.
Senegal also reported a case of Crimean-Congo fever in April, detected in a hospital near the capital, Dakar.
The Africa Centres for Diseases Control and Prevention noted previous significant outbreaks, including one in Mauritania in 2003 with 35 cases and six deaths, as well as an outbreak in South Africa in 2011 with 11 cases.