The Veterinary Services Directorate in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform has implemented animal health control measures to minimise the transmission of the Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever Virus.

This follows the detection of the virus in a human at Gobabis in the Omaheke Region on 23 May 2023, Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Albertina Shilongo said in a public notice issued on Saturday.

Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever is a severe haemorrhagic viral disease of people acquired from infected ticks through tick bites, contact with infected wild or domestic animal blood or tissue, and physical contact with the body fluids of an infected person.

Shilongo said infected animals do not manifest clinical disease, but experience mild fever.

“However, in infected people, the onset of symptoms is sudden, with fever, dizziness, neck pain, stiffness, backache, headache, sore eyes, and sensitivity to light,” she said.

Shilongo said there may be nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and sore throat early on, followed by sharp mood swings and confusion.

Anyone showing these clinical signs should report to the nearest health facility.

The directorate has thus implemented measures nationwide to minimise the transmission of the infection from ticks and animals to humans in line with the Animal Health Act 1 of 2011.

The measures include the enforcement of tick control activities at all animal gathering events in accordance with the Animal Gathering Events Protocol.

The directorate will conduct regular inspections and, where necessary, supervise tick control activities at identified high-risk animal establishments and auction facilities.

Animal handlers are urged to ensure that animals are free from ticks and to wear protective clothing when conducting any slaughtering procedures. Animal producers are also urged to apply approved Acaricides to control tick infestation.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

News Reporter