As new cases of Rift valley Fever are reported in Western Uganda, people are being warned against eating meat from dead animals and that which is not cooked well.
Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a viral disease that primarily affects animals but also has the capacity to infect humans.
The disease is reported in the district of Mbarara, Isingiro, Kiruhura, Kasese and Ibanda. Early this month, a one Joseph Kadoma, a resident of Kanyatsi village Munkunyu Sub County in Kasese, who was a butcher at Kinyamaseke Trading Centre, was found dead in his house suspected to had died of Rift Valley Fever(RVF).
The community had suspected the disease to be anthrax, prompting the district health office to take blood samples to the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) for laboratory diagnosis.
The Kasese district health officer, Dr. Yusuf Baseke said that they carried samples from the deceased and the laboratory results indicated that the deceased was killed by viral Rift valley hemorrhagic fever.
On Friday this week, Dr.Rose Muhindo, a physician at Mbarara University while speaking to the media, revealed that five people had been admitted at the health facility with signs like those of Rift Valley Virus, a suspicion that was later confirmed after subjecting them to tests.
Out of the five admitted, the first patient who had come from Isingiro district passed away as he arrived at the facility before any test was made. Other patients came from Nakivaale refugee camp in Isingiro district, Isingiro and Kiruhura.
Infection can cause severe disease in both animals and humans. The disease also results in significant economic losses due to death and abortion among infected livestock.
Now according to Mbarara district Health Officer(D.H.O), Peter Ssebutinde, animals that are not tested by veterinary officers should not be eaten.
Ssebutinde also warns farmers to always refer cases of pregnancy losses for their animals to the veterinary doctors, to ascertain the cause and have the animals treated.