ONE of the world’s deadliest diseases has killed a man in a fresh outbreak.
He died after contracting Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF), which can cause patients’ eyes to bleed.
The outbreak started in Namibia, where officials are trying to stop the tick-borne virus from spreading.
The disease kills up to 40 per cent of infected people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Some 27 of his contacts have already been tracked down, with the bug able to pass from human-to-human contact by blood or bodily fluids.
Twenty-four of the people who came into contact with him were health workers in the country, which borders South Africa.
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The patient was suspected of having the virus when he was first treated at a clinic in the eastern city of Gobabis on May 16.
He was later transferred to Windhoek Central Hospital, where he died on May 18, the Health Ministry said in a statement.
CCHF symptoms include fever, muscle ache, dizziness, light sensitivity and vomiting and it can lead to organ failure and internal bleeding.
It was first found in Crimea in 1944 and is now endemic to Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and some Asian countries.
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Namibia has recorded six CCHF outbreaks since 2016, with a total of three deaths.
One case was confirmed in Senegal in April, but outbreaks in Africa have generally been limited in recent years.
At least 13 people have died in Iraq from it since the start of the year from a viral tick-borne disease transmitted to humans from livestock.
The WHO listed CCHF as one of nine “priority diseases” that pose the biggest threat to public health on Tuesday.
What are the symptoms of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever
Symptoms of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever include:
- Muscle ache
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Sore eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Abdominal pain
- Sore throat
Source: The WHO
They were deemed most dangerous because of their limited treatments and potential to lead to a pandemic.
The disease is mainly spread by Hyalomma ticks, which are not found in the UK.
A woman in Cambridge was spotted with the disease last year after coming back from a trip in Central Asia.
It comes after fresh warnings about a separate outbreak in Britain of diphtheria, which has killed three people.
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Cases of the highly contagious disease have risen in the past year, according to the UK Health Security Agency.
Toxigenic diphtheria was identified in 87 people in England in 2022, a jump from the 10 cases the year before.
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