Rift Valley Fever Can Cause Serious Eye Infection and Can Also Claim Human Lives

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Rift Valley Fever is a viral disease that affects mainly animals such as cattle, buffalo, sheep and goats. But it can also affect humans.

The disease is most common during years of heavy rainfalls.

People get Rift Valley Fever mainly from bites of infected mosquitoes and the disease can also be spread through direct contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected animal.

Rift Valley Fever can cause serious eye infection, inflammation of the brain, severe bleeding (hemorrhage) and death.

The Rift Valley Fever has claimed the lives of two people near Arusha of northern Tanzania, according to local press reports on Tuesday.

English newspaper The Guardian quoted Arusha Acting Regional Commissioner Evance Balama as saying that the two victims had become on Jan. 31 the first reported victims of the disease in the country.

Health authorities in northern Tanzania have warned the public to guard against the spread of the Rift Valley Fever in the wake of an outbreak of the disease in neighboring Kenya where the disease has so far claimed the lives of some 90 people.

In 1998, the Rift Valley Fever broke out in Arusha following a similar outbreak in Kenya and the disease killed at least 10 people between January and March.

Source: Xinhua


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