Saturday, March 27, 2010

Rift Valley Fever infection on the increase

BY NEWSTEAM
27 March 2010


The total human cases of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) now stands at 63, after 3 more people have been infected with the fever.

Health department spokesperson Charity Bhengu, says 54 of the cases and two of the deaths were from the Free State, with five in the Northern Cape and four in the Eastern Cape.

Bhengu says direct contact with RVF-infected livestock remains the major risk factor for the infection.

The confirmed human cases are farmers, veterinarians and farm workers.

Rift Valley Fever is a viral disease; the virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and results in outbreaks of abortion and deaths of young livestock such as sheep, goats and cattle.

The first human victim of the virus was discovered in the Free State in February.

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