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Crimean Congo Viral Haemorrhagic Fever Patient Transferred to London

October 05, 2012 1:53 PM

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The 38 year old male with Crimean Congo Viral Haemorrhagic Fever has been transferred from the Brownlee Unit in Glasgow to the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.

The move of the patient is in line with the UK wide protocol for the management of diseases of this severity and rarity.

Having been stabilised overnight the patient was transferred this morning in specialist isolation facilities by air with the support of the Scottish Ambulance Service and the RAF.

He remains in a critical condition.

We have now contacted the three passengers on Emirates flight EK027 from Dubai to Glasgow arriving at 12.35pm on Tuesday Oct 2nd who were seated in close proximity to the patient on the flight. There is no evidence of transmission of infection however they will continue to be followed-up.

The risk to all other passengers on the flight is extremely low however if they have any concerns they should contact NHS24 on 08000 85 85 31 for advice, further information and reassurance.

Dr Syed Ahmed, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Consultant in Public Health who is coordinating the investigations into this case, said: “The risk of person to person transmission of Crimean Congo Viral Haemorrhagic Fever is extremely low as it can only be transmitted by direct contact with infected blood or body fluids. It is not a virus which is transmitted through the air. As such the risk to those who were in close contact with him is minimal. We have already made contact with all the patient’s close contacts and they are being followed-up appropriately.

“The decision to transfer the patient to the high security unit at the Royal Free was taken in line with the national protocol for the management of cases such as this.”

The NHS24 helpline number for anyone on flight number EK027 to call if they have any concerns is 08000 85 85 31. The helpline will be available between 8am and 10pm daily seven days a week.

ENDS

For further information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected]

Notes to Editor

Now that the patient has been transferred to the Royal Free all further media requests on his condition should be made to them on 0207 317 7590 or [email protected]  

What is Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever?
It is a widespread tick-borne viral disease, a zoonosis of domestic animals and wild animals, that may affect humans. The pathogenic virus, especially common in East and West Africa, is a member of the Bunyaviridae family of RNA viruses. Clinical disease is rare in infected mammals, but commonly severe in infected humans, with a mortality rate of up to 30%. Outbreaks of illness are usually attributable to contact with blood or body fluids from infected animals or people.

Where is the disease found?
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever is found in Eastern Europe, particularly in the former Soviet Union. It is also distributed throughout the Mediterranean, in northwestern China, central Asia, southern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent.

What are the symptoms?
The onset of CCHF is sudden, with initial signs and symptoms including headache, high fever, back pain, joint pain, stomach pain, and vomiting. Red eyes, a flushed face, a red throat, and petechiae (red spots) on the palate are common. Symptoms may also include jaundice, and in severe cases, changes in mood and sensory perception. As the illness progresses, large areas of severe bruising, severe nosebleeds, and uncontrolled bleeding at injection sites can be seen, beginning on about the fourth day of illness and lasting for about two weeks.

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