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Rift Valley fever death confirmed in Kabale

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By Richard Akandwanaho

The Ministry of Health has confirmed an outbreak of Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Kabale district. Rift Valley fever was last confirmed in Kabale district in March, 2016.

The disease’ confirmation comes after a boda boda rider who presented with signs and symptoms of Rift Valley fever (RVF) died at Kabale regional referral hospital in Kabale municipality.

The deceased Robert Mwesigye alias Kakara a boda boda rider who packed at Voice of Kigezi stage in Kabale town and a resident of Rwampara in Mbarara district died on 22nd last week at Kabale regional referral hospital.

Mwesigye presented with mild form of the disease characterized by a feverish syndrome with sudden onset of flu-like fever, muscle pain, joint pain and headache which are similar symptoms with rift valley fever.

The Kabale acting District Health Officer Alfred Besigensi who was non committal to confirm the disease`s outbreak in the district said that they submitted the post-mortem results to the Ministry of Health and are waiting for the Ministry to announce the disease`s outbreak in the district. He could not give more details but rather referred our reporter to officials from the Ministry of Health.

However, when our reporter contacted Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Senior Public Relations Officer Ministry of Health, he said that the findings by the Ministry confirm that the deceased died of Rift Valley fever (RVF).

Ainebyoona said that the Ministry is yet to dispatch a team of experts to trace for all the victim’s contacts so that they are tested and treated to avoid more deaths.

Ainebyoona on outbreak

Rift Valley fever (RVF) is caused by RVF virus (RVFV), a single-stranded RNA virus in the Bunyavirales order, Phenuiviridae family, and Phlebovirus genus. It is an emerging epidemic disease of humans and livestock is transmitted to livestock and humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes or exposure to tissues or blood of infected animals.