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Written by Roxanne Royce from Colorado Travel Health
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To date this year, a total of 172 human cases and 15 deaths have been reported in the Free State Province, Eastern Cape Province, Northern Cape Province, Western Cape and North West Province - most of them after contact with infected livestock.

World Cup

The 2010 World Cup is being held in South Africa from June 11 to July 11. Tourists and soccer fans heading to this event (or affected areas) are at risk for contracting Rift Valley fever.

Mode of Transmission and Prevention

Exposure to raw meat (including contact with dead animals) and mosquito or fly bites can transmit the virus and avoidance measures should thus be taken. Mosquito nets and insect repellents can reduce mosquito/fly bites. And, "…, WHO recommends that visitors to South Africa, especially those intending to visit farms and/or game reserves, avoid coming into contact with animal tissues or blood, avoid drinking unpasteurized or uncooked milk or eating raw meat." (Currently there is no available vaccine).

Clinical Presentation

Patients typically display mild flu-like symptoms and neck stiffness. Signs and symptoms can progress to hallucinations, dizziness and coma. Very few people develop hemorrhagic Rift Valley fever which can present with bloody vomit, feces, or bleeding from the nose, gums, or skin (case fatality 50%).

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