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