Rift Valley fever: 464 cases already recorded, especially in northern Burundi, don’t panic

464 cases of cows with Rift Valley fever disease are already recorded across the country. A statement made on May 24 by the Director General of Animal Health within the Ministry in charge of Livestock, Dr Désiré Ntakirutimana.

According to him, it is especially the northern provinces of Burundi such as Kirundo, Muyinga and Ngozi which are the most affected by this disease which can be transmitted by vector, by direct contact or through different types of mosquitoes.

Among the 464 cases of cows with Rift Valley fever recorded and confirmed after laboratory analysis, some have died.

So far, he insists, the ban on trade in animals, the movement of livestock and the slaughter of animals only concerns the affected areas, if there are other additional measures to be taken, the population will be informed.

“It is not necessary that the breeders who are in the unscathed environments remain serene and that people do not panic and that they go about their activities as normal”, he reassures.

The breeders met live with fear in their stomachs. They fear huge shortfalls that could be recorded once this Rift Valley fever disease were to spread in the country.

“There can be no lack of fear when you hear that the disease has already spread to neighboring towns. We ask veterinarians to come and consult our cows and treat them once the treatment has been found”.

Our concern, says another breeder, is when vets won’t be able to do tests to find the real cure for this disease. “Otherwise, if our cows were to become infected, it would be a loss for us too. This is why we are asking animal health officials to do their best to ensure that cows already infected are treated”.

The DG of Animal Health within the Ministry of Livestock indicated that awareness and vaccination campaigns will soon begin. However, he said they are still waiting for funding.

Source: IWACU Burundi

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