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Volume 1 Published - 14:00 UTC    08:00 EST    13-July-2000      
Issue 91 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST    14-July-2000      

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Back To Vidyya Acute Haemorrhagic Fever Syndrome In Afghanistan

Cause Of The Sydrome Is Unknown

An outbreak of acute haemorrhagic fever syndrome has been reported from an isolated village in Gulran district, Afghanistan. Disease symptoms are comparable to those of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever(CCHF) (See Today's Vidyya for a fact sheet regarding CCHF). An international team, coordinated by WHO, arrived in the affected area on 16 June to control and investigate this outbreak. The team comprises experts from the WHO Collaborating Centre at the National Institute of Virology (NIV-South Africa), Epicentre (France) and WHO.

Preliminary findings indicate that cases began at the beginning of May and are continuing to occur. Twenty-seven suspect cases including 16 deaths have been identified by the team as of 13-July-2000. Samples were collected and transported to NIV where diagnostic laboratory tests will be performed to establish the etiology of the outbreak

The team has provided basic protective materials (gloves, masks), disinfectants (chlorine bleach) and instructions for their use in caring for patients with bleeding symptoms. An isolation area has been identified in the hospital in Herat to deal with haemorrhagic patients and will be equipped by WHO. Training in barrier nursing will be provided to medical and nursing staff.

Extensive virologic and serologic tests for a wide variety of pathogens have not yet identified the etiologic agent.

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Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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