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Ibanda, Isingiro on high alert as Rift Valley Fever kills one, two hospitalised

Isingiro and Ibanda districts have been put on alert with cases from Nakivale Refugee Settlement camp (FILE PHOTO)

IBANDA/ISINGIRO – Residents of Ibanda and Isingiro are on high alert after three cases of Rift Valley Fever were reported in the two districts.

The cases were discovered by doctors at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital (MRRH) after one patient from Isingiro died at the facility and two others presented symptoms of the viral disease that affects animals as well as humans who meat from the dead animals.

“In the past two weeks, we have received three patients from Ibanda and Isingiro. Initially they were presenting normal medical conditions of fever and headache but when they started bleeding we had to investigate further and that’s when we confirmed it was Rift Valley Fever,” Dr Rose Muhindo, the head of medical ward at MRRH, told journalists on Monday.

Dr Muhindo said one patient is from Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Isingiro and another is from Ibanda and that they are responding to treatment.

The executive director MRRH, Dr Celestine Barigye, said: “I challenge the public to stop eating meat from dead animals, let them be buried because sickness from these animals are so serious and kill human beings too.”

In January, the Ministry of Health confirmed sporadic outbreaks of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) and Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Kiboga, Buikwe and Mityana districts.

Dr Aceng said a team of experts had been dispatched to tackle the outbreaks, and spraying of ticks and biting insects, some of the key transmitters of the fevers, had started in the cattle corridor of Nakaseke, Sembabule, Kyegegwa, Lyantonde, Mubende, and Gomba districts.

Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a viral zoonosis that primarily affects animals but also has the capacity to infect humans. Infection can cause severe disease in both animals and humans. The disease also results in significant economic losses due to death and abortion among RVF-infected livestock. Outbreaks of RVF in animals can be prevented by a sustained programme of animal vaccination.

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