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Animal owners urged to vaccinate against RVF

The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development has urged owners of cattle, sheep and goats to vaccinate their animals against Rift Valley Fever (RVF).

It said the current rainfall predictions indicate that good rainfall might occur in certain areas of the country as a result of a La Niña weather phenomenon. This will result in an increase in the numbers of mosquitoes.

RVF is a serious viral disease that is spread by mosquitoes that can carry the disease from infected animals to healthy animals.

The disease may cause abortions and deaths in cattle, sheep and goats. People coming into contact with the blood and other body fluids of infected animals may also develop RVF.

Most people get sick from RVF two to six days after contact with the virus and they typically show flu-like symptoms (fever, muscle pain, back ache, weakness, and dizziness). Some may get more severe diseases and may even die.

Farmers are therefore advised to vaccinate all cattle, sheep and goats against the disease.

Live vaccine (OBP Live) must only be used on non-pregnant animals as the live vaccine can cause abortions. Only dead/inactivated (OBP) vaccine must be used on pregnant animals.

The department said it is the responsibility of the animal owners to vaccinate their animals to prevent death of their animals leading to financial losses.

Any suspicion of RVF disease must be reported immediately to the nearest state veterinarian, it added.

By: Staff Reporter