A nosocomial outbreak of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever at Tygerberg Hospital. Part II. Management of patients

Van Eeden P.J. ; Van Eeden S.F. ; Joubert J.R. (1985)


The original publication is available at http://www.samj.org.za


During the outbreak of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) at Tygerberg Hospital 8 patients were diagnosed positive. CCHF was diagnosed in another patient several months later. The treatment of these 9 cases is outlined. When it became evident that CCHF could present with a spectrum of severity, treatment was adjusted according to each patient's requirements. The essential components consisted of correction of haematological abnormalities combined with hyperimmune serum; the latter is particularly important for the severely ill patient with no antibodies to CCHF. The antiviral agents ribavirin and interferon were used but evidence to substantiate their application in future cases was inconclusive. Interferon was discontinued because of severe side-effects, many of which simulated the clinical features of CCHF. Objective improvement after corticosteroid treatment was noted in only 1 patient, but some of her symptoms could have been due to a transfusion reaction. Antibiotics were not routinely used. The 2 patients who died were diagnosed late, did not receive hyperimmune serum, and eventually developed multi-organ failure. The course of CCHF can probably be modified if the diagnosis is made early, if antiserum is given, and if the haematological abnormalities are promptly corrected.

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