'Bleeding Eye Fever' virus 'deadlier than the plague' sparks fears of epidemic

A horrific viral disease which causes people to ‘bleed from the eyes’ is sparking fears of a new endemic akin to the Ebola outbreak.

Health chiefs are preparing for a major epidemic across East African as the virus, known as ‘Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever’ leaves people bleeding from their eyes, mouth, and anus.

Uganda’s health ministry confirmed the outbreak on Monday (January 15), report Xinhua news agency.

A nine-year-old boy is reported to be in isolation in Kiwoko Hospital, Nakaseke after testing positive for the fever which is spread by tick-bites and contact with infected people.

Around 60 others are also feared to be infected from the condition, better known as ‘Bleeding Eye Fever’, and are undergoing tests.

The condition was also suspected to have killed a eight-year-old girl who displayed similar symptoms in the Nakaseke region of Uganda this month.

Her home was disinfected by a rapid response team in protective gear and her body taken away in a body bag for testing.

However on Monday Sarah Opendi, Uganda state minister for health said lab tests came back negative and the cause of death is yet to be determined.

She has also downplayed fears of an endemic.

Yesterday (January 16) the Ugandan Medical Association asked for clarity on the situation.

Its president Dr Ekwaro Obuku said: “There was a confirmed case on December 26, 2017 and we have learnt that this case was discharged.

“We state one confirmed case of Congo-Crimean is an epidemic already. It should activate emergency levels, it should activate epidemic levels.”


What is Bleeding Eye Fever?

Crimean-Congo, or ‘Bleeding Eye Fever’ is transmitted through tick-bites, and can also be transmitted through contact with the blood of infected animals.

It can also be caught from infected people through direct contact with their blood and bodily secretions. read more