A fever-triggering virus that was transmitted by mosquitoes, especially in the rainy season, was confirmed in four people after an isolated outbreak in sheep on a farm in the Jacobsdal area of the Free State on the edge of the Northern Cape.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases identified in May the outbreak of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) after a total of 250 sheep were killed and abortions documented on the farm
Ten residents and workers killed by slaughter or by contact with the The handling of animal tissue has been monitored by the Provincial Department of Health and the NICD.
"Four individuals were retrospectively confirmed to be infected with RVF virus, and it was shown that four individuals were likely infected with RVFV until further blood follow-up testing was performed, two were not infected with RVFV, although they handled potentially contaminated tissue, "the NICD said this week.
Six of the eight people had mild symptoms of fever, muscle pain or headache the previous month. No one developed a serious illness that required hospitalization.
The NICD found that mosquitoes collected on the affected farm were tested negative for the RVF virus, suggesting that active transmission has declined due to decreased mosquito populations
A widespread RVF epidemic occurred in South Africa in 201
Transmission of the virus is unusual in colder winter months. It causes abortions and deaths of young animals – mainly sheep, goats and cattle.
The disease occurs throughout Africa and the Middle East when exceptionally heavy rains favor the breeding of mosquito vectors. In RVF outbreaks in Eastern or Southern Africa, humans become infected primarily through contact with infected tissues of farm animals or wild animals.