Crimean–Congo Hemorrhagic Fever: Uganda Government in For Mass Tick Spray in Agago
Cliff Abenaitwe, September 2, 2013
Government is to roll out a massive spray against ticks in Agago district as the fight against the deadly Crimean Congo fever intensifies.
According to the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Doctor Asuman Lukwago, the Ministry is working with the Veterinary Department of the Ministry of Agriculture to roll out the campaign but does not reveal when this will kick-start. “What we found so unique in Agago is the high level of tick infestation. We are now working with the Veterinary Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and other stake holders to organize a spray,” Lukwago told this site in an exclusive interview adding that even President Yoweri Museveni has already made a directive on the new ways of controlling ticks.
He explained that it has been discovered ticks tend to develop resistance against acaracides (animal sprays) when a farmer uses one type over a long time. “This information was not known that acaracides have a span of activity which is about three years so it is now advised that after three years, a farmer should change the acaracide type,” Lukwago said.
Despite the above arrangements, Lukwago is also confident that the outbreak will be contained. “The situation is under control. We have only three cases in the country. One confirmed positive person is admitted at Mulago hospital while two other are under surveillance at Kalongo hospital in Agago district” he explained.
Early last month (August), the Ugandan Ministry of Health confirmed the outbreak of the Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever in Amot Sub-County, Agago district. Since then, one person has died and surveillance has been heightened.
The disease is caused by a tick-borne virus (Nairo-Virus) which causes severe haemorrhagic fever and kills up to 40 percent of people infected. It is spread by wild and domestic animals and is transmitted to humans through bites of infected ticks.
According to World Health Organization and Ministry of Health, a person who is infected with the disease may present with headache, high fever, back pain, joint muscle pain and bleeding from body parts. Other signs and symptoms may include stomach ache, red eyes, red throat and vomiting.
Much as most of these signs resemble those of Ebola which once claimed scores in Uganda, health experts and organisations say the two viral diseases are different.