By Micheal Bitunga
Residents of Sheema District especially animal keepers are on their kneels as we write this praying for divine intervention from Heaven due to a deadly disease known as Rift Valley Fever that broke out in their district that attacks and kills both animals and humans. Some residents are already counting losses in cows, goats and sheep.
What worries most people is that this deadly disease has got no medicine so far hence incurable. “When this disease attacks an animal or human being, doctors can only give first aid and leave the rest to God to make the final decision whether to die or not,”said Mr.Richard, Sheema District Veterinary officer.
He revealed that this fever kills both people and animals with in six days and that according to Uganda virus research institute Kampala, so far one person has died from Kakorogoro village in Kashozi Division and more than 43 cows.
He added that if it attacks a pregnant woman or animal, it leads to giving birth of immature baby or dead one.
Mr Akankwatsa Benson Health Inspector Sheema said that Rift Valley Fever is caused by Rift Valley Virus and mostly spread by mosquitoes, however bats and bush rabbits can also spread it.
He said the disease is transmitted through blood. “For example, if a mosquito bites an infected animal and also bites a healthy animal or human being ,they will all suffer from the deadly disease,” he said.
The signs and symptoms of the fever in animals only are loss of appetite, weakness, decrease in milk production, nasal discharge, diarrhoea plus bleeding, however in human beings, symptoms come at last and that it takes few days for that person to die.
Some of the symptoms in people are vomiting, bleeding, coma or seizures headache and reddening of eyes.
People were asked to abide by the government rules and regulations if they want to prevent the disease like to stop eating dead animals, avoid being eaten by mosquitoes, stop eating meat which isn’t tested by authorised doctors and all butchers not to slaughter any animal before it being tested by authorised doctors.
This disease isn’t only affecting Sheema district but also her neighbouring districts like Isingiro, Mbarara especially Kashaka and Kashaari, and so far more than 30 people have reportedly already died in only those three districts.