Rift Valley fever case confirmed in Senegal

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The Pasteur Institute in Dakar confirmed by PCR a case of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) from the Matam district of the Matam region on November 28.

Photo/Robert Herrmann

The case is a 19-year-old female. The date of onset of symptoms was November 14. Symptoms included fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, and weakness.

Rift Valley fever is a mosquito-borne virus endemic to parts of Africa. It primarily infects animals such as sheep, cattle and goats and can have an economic impact on society due to the loss of livestock.

Humans become infected by contact with infected animal blood or organs. The slaughter of animals is one of the main reasons for its transmission to humans. Certain professions are more likely to contract RVF, such as farmers, herders, and veterinarians.

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It can also be transmitted to humans through mosquito bites and blood-sucking fly stings.

Most cases of Rift Valley Fever are mild and symptoms include fever, headache, and muscle aches. However, a small percentage of people can develop a serious illness that includes retinitis, encephalitis, and hemorrhagic fever. Deaths occur in less than 1 percent of those infected.

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