Disease

Rift Valley fever – South Africa

Following confirmation of a Rift Valley fever (RVF) outbreak in sheep on a farm in Jacobsdal area, Free State in May 2018, human and vector surveillance was conducted on the affected farm by Provincial Department of Health and National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD). Mosquitoes collected on the affected farm tested negative for RVF virus, suggesting that active transmission had diminished due to decreased mosquito populations.

Farmworkers and residents, who had been involved in the handling of potentially contaminated animal tissues during the sheep outbreak, were interviewed and sampled for RVF testing at NICD. Of 10 persons sampled, four individuals were retrospectively confirmed to have been infected with RVF virus; four individuals were shown to have been infected with RVFV. The cases reported having experienced mild symptoms (fever, muscle pain, headache) in the preceding month, while none developed a severe disease that necessitated hospitalization.

Venezuela – Diptheria

Venezuelan authorities confirmed last week that the vaccine-preventable disease, diphtheria, has killed some 19 children at the pediatric hospital Menca de Leoni, in the state of Bolívar

HIV-AIDS – Namibia

An average of 11 people die daily from AIDS in Omusati Region, while 25 infections are recorded daily in the region, says Governor Erginus Endjala. This year alone, 445 pupils in the region have fallen pregnant, with Okalongo topping the list with 78 pupils. Amongst the whopping number of pregnant learners are children in grades four and six. Given the grades of some of the pupils, the governor pointed out that the statistics are an indication that rape is on the increase in the region but often goes unreported. “It defies human logic how young learners of 10 years got pregnant but no single report was registered with the police”.

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