More RVF cases reported

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pretoria - The number of people infected with Rift Valley Fever (RVF) has increased to 52 with five more cases confirmed yesterday.

The National Institute of Communicable Disease (NICD) reported that of the 52 cases of infected people, 46 cases and two deaths are from the Free State, three in the Eastern Cape and three in the Northern Cape said the Department of Health.

Outbreak investigations by the Departments of Health and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries are ongoing, supported by the South African Field Epidemiology and Training Programme (SA-FELTP) and NICD.

The NICD confirmed that animal cases have now spread to the North West.

Affected farms are primarily within the Free State Province, however, animal cases of RVF have been confirmed in all districts with spill over into the Eastern Cape, the Northern Cape and Gauteng.

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 of the above symptoms.