Mauritanian health officials have expressed fears of a possible outbreak of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) following the confirmation on Tuesday, April 24, of one CCHF case in southern Mauritania. The patient reportedly contracted the disease in Elghabra following contact with infected livestock. According to local sources, health officials have listed 32 people as potential close contacts with the infected patient and are reportedly taking measures to prevent a larger outbreak of the disease.
CCHF is a tick-borne virus (Nairovirus) of the Bunyaviridae family. It has a fatality rate of 10 to 40 percent and is usually transmitted to people from ticks and infected livestock animals. Human-to-human transmission is also possible, and primarily occurs via close contact with the blood, secretions, organs, or other bodily fluids of an infected person. Symptoms include headache, high fever, back pain, joint pain, stomach pain, and vomiting. Red eyes, a flushed face, a red throat, and petechiae (red spots) on the palate are common. There is no vaccine available.
Individuals in Mauritania are advised to take measures against ticks (e.g. by wearing covering clothing and using insect repellent). Avoid close contact with livestock animals or with infected individuals.
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