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Outbreak of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever in Quetta, Pakistan: contact tracing and risk assessment

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Summary In December 1994 in a private hospital in Quetta, Pakistan, 3 health-workers contracted Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) after surgery on a bleeding patient who later died. We conducted a retrospective study to determine transmission risks among contacts. Fifty contacts gave blood for antibody tests and answered questions about exposure. Two of four people exposed percutaneously and one of five with cutaneous exposure contracted CCHF. The person with cutaneous exposure was a surgeon who tore his glove during surgery and noted blood on his hand but no cut. There were no anti-CCHF antibodies or CCHF cases among persons whose skin came into contact with body fluids other than blood (0/4), who had skin-to-skin contact (0/16) with patients or were physically close to them (0/21). Three index case relatives reported that although 10 family members had cutaneous exposure, none developed CCHF. The family refused blood tests. CCHF transmission in resource-constrained settings can be limited by focusing on avoiding health worker contact with blood.

Keywords: Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever; Pakistan; contact study; nosocomial

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Community Health Sciences, The Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan 2: Department of Pathology, The Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan

Publication date: 1998-11-01

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