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Rift Valley Fever: Rwanda lifts quarantine on cattle movement

The Rwandan Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, on Monday announced it was lifting the quarantine on the movement of cattle that was imposed to control the deadly Rift Valley Fever in several parts of Eastern province.A quarantine on cattle in the country’s four affected eastern districts has been imposed since mid-June this year after about 100 heads of cattle were killed by the virus.

In a notice issued Monday, the minister Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Gérardine Mukeshimana said the quarantine is no longer serving the purpose of slowing the spread of the deadly Rift Valley Fever.

It is an acute fever that causes viral disease most commonly observed in domesticated animals such as cattle, sheep and goats as well as other wild animals.

It also causes illness in humans.

The outbreak is first detected when the animal exhibits massive breeding including onset of abortions.

Reports indicate that the outbreak was first detected on May 18, 2018 in four districts in Eastern Rwanda including Ngoma, Kirehe, Rwamagana and Kayonza.

Of the 147,604 cows in the affected districts, the ministry says 99 died while 452 aborted.

The ministry says it has treated 1,638 cows, with 36,930 sheep and 245 goats vaccinated against the disease.

To combat further deaths among animals, the ministry says it has dispatched veterinary doctors across the affected districts.

Official reports indicate that no human case has been reported so far in Rwanda, yet the number of affected livestock is thought to be much higher.

According to the Director General of Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), Dr Patrick Karangwa, the cause of the outbreak is unusually heavy rains, which have created ponds and lakes where mosquitoes can breed, in this region which is normally dry.

“Most human infections result from contact with the blood or organs of infected animals”, Dr Karangwa said

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