Rift Valley Fever epidemic kills at least 32 in Niger

NIAMEY

At least 32 people have died since late August in an epidemic of Rift Valley fever in the western Niger region of Tahoua, the country’s health ministry said Thursday.

A ministry statement read on national radio said 230 people had been infected with the fever-causing viral disease that mainly affects animals but also humans, “unfortunately including 32 deaths”.

The mortality rate had fallen from 50 per cent three months ago to 14 per cent due to a government information campaign urging people to bury animal carcasses and handle contaminated animals with care and avoid drinking raw milk.

Symptoms include fever, headaches and stomach pain in people, while in livestock, common symptoms are fever and bleeding.

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