Accessibility links

Breaking News

Rift Valley Fever Kills 16 in Tanzania

Tanzania's health minister, David Mwakyusa, says an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever in Tanzania has killed 16 people and infected many more since late January.

The highly contagious disease spread from neighboring Kenya, where it has killed at least 139 people. The first Tanzanian cases appeared in the north of the country, in Arusha, and Somalia has also reported some cases.

The disease is most common among animals, but mosquitoes or direct contact with infected animals can spread it to humans.

Health experts say the disease is difficult to treat. Victims usually experience fever, generalized weakness, back pain, dizziness and extreme weight loss. They also can vomit blood.

Experts also advise the public to eat only inspected meat and to wear gloves and protective clothing if slaughtering animals.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.