TANZANIAN LIVESTOCK MINISTRY RAISES AN ALERT FOR RIFT VALLEY FEVER

DAR-ES-SALAAM-- Tanzania's Livestock and Fisheries Ministry has instructed district, municipal and city councils to raise public awareness on the outbreak of Rift Valley Fever (RVF), which has been reported in neighbouring Kenya and Rwanda.

The Ministry's Permanent Secretary, Dr Mary Mashingo, says the Kenyan authorities as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) had recently reported the RVF outbreak in northern Kenya and the eastern part of Rwanda.

She assured the public that so far Tanzania remains safe but ordered all livestock departments in the district, municipal and city councils to take precautions on the threat.

Councils should start informing the public on the symptoms of the disease and how to protect animals and humans from infections, she said, while urging members of the public to immediately report to the authorities whenever they see something unusual, which may be RVF symptoms.

RVF is caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitoes and blood-feeding flies which usually affect animals, commonly cattle and sheep, but can also involve humans. In humans, the disease ranges from a mild flu-like illness to severe haemorrhagic fever which can be fatal.

When livestock are infected the disease can cause significant economic losses due to the high mortality rate in young animals and waves of abortions in pregnant females.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK