Rift Valley Fever outbreak in Northern Cape

2011-01-31 18:08

Kimberley - Northern Cape farmers have been warned to vaccinate their livestock against Rift Valley Fever after two people tested positive for the disease.

"Two human cases have been confirmed in the Calvinia area, where a farmer and a farm worker tested positive for Rift Valley Fever," the agriculture department said on Monday.

"This happened after they handled a sick animal," said spokesperson Sipho Mbaqa.

He said the two men were "out of hospital... they're doing fine".

The disease is a "viral zoonosis", which means it is an animal disease which can be transmitted to humans.

Symptoms of the disease in humans are flu-like fever, muscle pain, joint pain and headaches, neck stiffness, sensitivity to light, loss of appetite and vomiting.

It currently has no treatment and can result in death.

An outbreak can be triggered by heavy and persistent rains or flooding.

"The department reiterates its call to farmers and farm workers to use protective clothing such as gloves, mask and goggles at all times when handling sick and dead animals.

Communities are also encouraged not to eat meat from animals that have died from any disease.