NewsDesk @bactiman63

The Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) VHF laboratory confirmed twelve (12) Rift Valley Fever (RVF) human cases on March 1, the World Health Organization reports.

Image/Robert Herriman

The 12 cases were reported in the greater Mbarara areas (Mbarara district, Mbarara City, Kazo and Isingiro districts). Nine (9) human cases in one sub-county, Rwanyamahembe, Mbarara district, One (1) human case in Nyakayojo, Mbarara City linked to Mbarara City Abattoir, One (1) human case in the Isingiro district and One (1) human case in the Kazo district.

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.

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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.