Friday, April 23, 2010

Rift Valley fever in South Africa

There is an ongoing outbreak of Rift Valley Fever Virus (RVFV) infection affecting sheep, goats, cattle and wildlife on farms within Free State, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Western Cape, Mpumalanga, North West, Gauteng provinces.

SHOOT: In other words everywhere except the Western Cape, Limpopo and KwaZulu Natal.
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In humans the virus can cause several different syndromes. Usually sufferers have either no symptoms or only a mild illness with fever, headache, myalgia and liver abnormalities. In a small percentage of cases (< 2%) the illness can progress to hemorrhagic fever syndrome, meningoencephalitis (inflammation of the brain), or affecting the eye. Patients who become ill usually experience fever, generalized weakness, back pain, dizziness, and weight loss at the onset of the illness. Typically, patients recover within 2–7 days after onset.

Approximately 1% of human sufferers die of the disease. Amongst livestock the fatality level is significantly higher.
As of 8 April 2010, the Ministry of Health South Africa has reported 87 human cases infected with Rift Valley Fever (RVF), including two deaths in Free State, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape provinces[6].
As of 29 March 2010, approximately 78 farms reported laboratory-confirmed animal cases, with extensive livestock deaths.
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