Mpumalanga farmer treated for Congo fever

Farmers and people that work within the agriculture industry are most at risk of contracting the disease.

FILE: The National Institute for Communicable Diseases says there is no need to panic after a farmer contracts Congo fever. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - An Mpumalanga farmer who contracted Congo fever is not a danger to the general public, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases said on Monday.

The life-threatening disease is a tick-borne virus that can lead to uncontrollable bleeding.

Farmers and people that work within the agriculture industry are most at risk of contracting the disease.

The institute's Professor Lucille Bloomberg says there is no cause for alarm.

"Casual contact with a patient with Congo fever poses absolutely no risk. The patient is in isolation and is being nursed accordingly to prevent any direct contact with blood."

Three separate cases of Congo fever have been reported in the country since the start of 2013.

The cases were reported in the North West and Free State.