The Rwandan Ministry of Agriculture has recently confirmed an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) in cattle in three districts of East Province: Ngoma, Kirehe, and Kyonza.
Rift Valley Fever is mosquito-borne virus that is endemic in parts of Africa. It primarily infects animals like sheep, cattle and goats and it can have an economic impact on a community due to the loss of livestock.
Humans get infected through contact with infected animal blood or organs. Butchering and slaughtering of animals is a primary cause of transmission to humans. Certain occupations are at a higher risk of getting Rift Valley Fever like farmers, herders and veterinarians.
It can also be transmitted to humans through mosquito bites and the bites of blood-sucking flies.
Most cases of Rift Valley Fever are mild and symptoms include fever, headaches and muscle pain. However, a small percentage of people can get serious disease which includes retinitis, encephalitis and a hemorrhagic fever. Fatalities happen in less than 1 percent of those infected.
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