Uganda reports Rift Valley Fever outbreak, 12 confirmed human cases recorded


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The Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) VHF laboratory confirmed twelve (12) human cases of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) on 1 March, WHO reports.

Image/Robert Herrmann

Twelve cases have been reported in Greater Mbarara Districts (Mbarara District, Mbarara City, Kazuo and Isengiro Districts). Nine (9) human cases in one sub-district, Rwanamhambe, Mbarara District, one (1) human case in Nyakayogo, Mbarara City associated with the Mbarara City Abattoir, one (1) human case in Isengero District and one (1) human case in Kazu District.

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.

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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.

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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