First UK victim of deadly Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever was a 'hard working' Afghan asylum seeker

38-year-old died in a London hospital on Saturday, two days after laboratory tests confirmed he had the disease

Tributes have been paid to a married father who died in the UK’s first case of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.

The 38-year-old man, who has not been named, died in a London hospital on Saturday two days after laboratory tests confirmed he had the deadly disease.

He had returned to the UK from his native Afghanistan on Tuesday via a connecting flight from Dubai.

His friend Mohammed Asif said he was an Afghan national who came to Britain seeking asylum several years ago and lived with his wife and young son, aged around five or six, in Glasgow, where he owned a garage in the east end.

Mr Asif said the man had been in Afghanistan to attend his brother's wedding in Samangan Province.

Concerns have now been raised about three of his family members in the village of Aibak, Afghanistan, who are said to be displaying symptoms of the fever.

Mr Asif, acting chairman of the Scottish Afghan Society, of which the man was a member, said: “I spoke with friends over there about two hours ago, one of his brothers is having the same problems he did - vomiting, body aches and pains in his ear…Two women from the family also have some symptoms.”

”We have tried to give them advice, telling them that anyone showing symptoms should stay away from the rest of the family,” Mr Asif added.

“We have also contacted a local politician and sent over British news reports to be translated, to let them know how dangerous it can be.

”His family have only found out he died in the last few hours.“

The man was picked up from Glasgow Airport on Tuesday by a friend, and within three hours was admitted to hospital.

He was initially treated in isolation at Gartnavel General Hospital's Brownlee Centre, which specialises in infectious disease, before being flown from Scotland to a high-security infectious disease unit at London's Royal Free Hospital.

Mr Asif said the man missed his original connecting flight from Dubai and stayed the night in a hotel, but did not leave the airport.

Mr Asif would not confirm the man's name as some members of his family in Afghanistan are still being notified.

”We are all quite shocked,“ he said.

”He was a very nice guy, very family orientated. He was hard working - he worked very hard to provide for his family.

“He was an active member of the Afghan community here in Scotland.

”About three weeks ago he helped me paint my living room, and now every time I look at it I just think of him.

“I spoke to him on the phone when he was in hospital as we weren't allowed in to see him, and he told me he thought he was going to die.

”He was very dejected. It must be a terrible disease, there's such a high mortality rate.“

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said it has identified and contacted four passengers who may have had contact with the patient on the Emirates flight from Dubai to Glasgow.

The health board said two of them - one who remained in ”close proximity“ to the ill man during the flight - will be monitored on a daily basis for the next two weeks for any developments of relative symptoms.

The other two passengers do not require follow-up surveillance and the risk to all other passengers on the flight and the general public is ”extremely low“, it added.

The Health Protection Agency said it was the first laboratory-confirmed case of CCHF in the UK.

It is described as a widespread tick-borne viral disease which is especially common in East and West Africa and is fatal in up to 30% of human cases.

The onset is said to be sudden, with initial symptoms including headache, high fever, vomiting and back, joint and stomach pain.

The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust said: ”Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever can be acquired from an infected patient only through direct contact with their blood or body fluids, therefore there is no risk to the general public.“

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee