Forty-seven RVF human cases confirmed

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pretoria -The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has confirmed five new human laboratory cases of Rift Valley Fever (RVF). This pushes up the number of confirmed cases to 47.

Of the 47 confirmed cases on Wednesday, 41 cases with two deaths were reported in the Free State, three in the Eastern Cape and three in the Northern Cape.

"Outbreak investigations by the Departments of Health and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries are ongoing, supported by the South African Field Epidemiology and Training Programme," said the Department of Health.

The NICD have also confirmed the spread of RVF in animals in the North West Province.
The department said RVF continues to spread in sheep, goats and cattle on farms within the Free State, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Gauteng Provinces.

The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and causes termination of gestation and deaths of young livestock.

Humans become infected from contact with infected tissues of livestock and less frequently from mosquito bites.

The department has urged people living in the affected areas to seek medical attention at their nearest health facilities should they have any symptoms.