PRO/AH/EDR> Rift Valley fever – Uganda (04): (BC)


A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Tue 16 May 2023
Source: Monitor [edited]

A 42-year-old man has died after presenting signs of Rift Valley fever
in Bushenyi District in western Uganda, health officials said Tuesday
[16 May 2023]. [The] resident of Kyaruhijika village in Rwijangye
Parish, Kyabugimbi Sub County died at Mbarara Regional Referral
Hospital on Sunday [14 May 2023].

Rift Valley fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic fever that is most
commonly seen in domesticated animals such as cattle, sheep, and goats
but can also be transmitted to humans.

The fever is caused by the Rift Valley [fever] virus, according to

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the virus was first
identified in 1931 during an investigation into an epidemic among
sheep on a farm in the Rift Valley of Kenya.

One of [the man’s] close friends, a resident of Kyaruhijika, said they
first thought he had malaria because he had a fever and a simple
headache before his condition deteriorated.

“He started by complaining about fever and headache. We thought it was
malaria, so we took him to Mushanga Health Center III. When we reached
the hospital, he started passing blood through the nose and stool, and
we decided to take him to Ishaka Adventist Hospital. However, his
condition did not improve. We then took him to Mayanja Memorial
Hospital,” his friend said.

[The patient] was later transferred to Mbarara Regional Referral
Hospital (MRRH) for better management where he was diagnosed with Rift
Valley fever (RVF). “When we reached Mayanja Memorial Hospital, they
asked us to take him to MRRH for better management. On reaching MRRH
they took blood samples and took them to Entebbe for testing on
Saturday [13 May 2023]. The results returned the following day
indicating that he had Rift Valley fever,” [the friend] said.

The head of Community Health at MRRH, Dr Francis Mugabi, confirmed the
case saying the patient reached the facility when he was very ill. “He
was unconscious and he was bleeding from the nose, vomiting blood, and
had severe kidney failure, some of which are key symptoms of RVF to
date. His samples were taken and sent to Uganda Virus Research
Institute (UVRI) in Entebbe where they tested positive for RVF,” he

He said Ankore Sub-region has registered positive cases of RVF since
January this year [2023], mostly in the districts of Kazo, Isingiro,
Mbarara, and Kiruhura.

“The outbreak has been going on since January 2023 but when you see
one severe case of RVF at the hospital then there are quite a number
of other cases in the communities because it rarely causes death in
humans. It is only a very small percentage that gets severe signs like
the one we saw. The majority of the people get mild symptoms and they
recover. The districts of Kiruhura, Kazo, Isingiro, and Mbarara are
the ones mainly affected but this one is a little bit strange from
Bushenyi but still the same animals are shared across the Ankore
region,” he added.

[Byline: Felix Ainebyoona]

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