One dead as Rift Valley Fever outbreak confirmed in Kagadi

Rift Valley Fever (RVF) disease is transmitted by mosquitoes. PHOTO/FILE/COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • In 2020, the disease was confirmed in Kabale District where it killed a 22-year -old boda boda rider in Kabale Town.

The Ministry of Health has confirmed the outbreak of the Rift Valley fever in Kagadi District, which has so far killed one person.

The Health ministry, in a statement on Thursday, revealed that a herdsman who died on Monday at a health facility in Kagadi District succumbed to Rift Valley Fever.

This was after his result samples tested positive at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) in Entebbe.
The deceased, aged 34, was a resident of Kihuura Village in Mabaale Sub-county.

The Kagadi District Assistant Health Officer, Mr Paul Bahizi, told Saturday Monitor that the deceased had signs and symptoms of Rift Valley Fever.

“Samples were taken from the deceased, who was showing signs and symptoms of Rift Valley Fever symptoms. His results were positive,” he said.

He said the deceased was first admitted in a local clinic in Mabale Town Council for three days but his condition got worse before he died.

The deceased was staying with his wife and two children. 

Dr Fred SSewankambo, a representative from the World Health Organisation, asked the district authorities in Kagadi to swiftly launch sensitisation campaigns, especially in Mabale Sub-county before the situation goes of hand.

“We have had a series of hemorrhagic fevers here and also Ebola and Covid-19. By now, many health workers should be cautious of hemorrhagic conditions of some patients coming into their facilities. The district should put a response plan now,” Ssewankambo said.

The Kagadi Resident District Commissioner, Ms Lilian Ruteraho, said the district has dispatched a team of experts to trace the victim’s contacts so that they can also have their samples collected and analysed.

In 2020, the disease was confirmed in Kabale District where it killed a 22-year -old boda boda rider in Kabale Town.

About rift valley fever 

According to the Centre for Diseases Control (CDC), Rift Valley Fever (RVF) is a viral disease most commonly seen in domesticated animals in sub-Saharan Africa, including as cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, and camels.

The fever is caused by an RNA virus and has a complex transmission cycle that involves mosquitoes.

People can get Rift Valley Fever through contact with blood, body fluids, or tissues of infected animals, or through bites from infected mosquitoes.

Outbreaks of RVF can have major societal impacts, including significant economic losses and trade reductions. The disease most commonly affects livestock, causing severe illness and abortion in domesticated animals.

Outbreaks of RVF also increase the likelihood of contact between diseased animals and humans, which can lead to outbreaks of RVF in people.