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Pest - Borne Diseases: Rift Valley Fever


The Rift Valley Fever is an acute viral disease commonly found in animals such as cattle, sheep, and goats but also have the capacity to infect humans. It is transmitted to humans through mosquitoes that fed on infected animals. The Rift Valley fever is caused by the RVF virus which traces its origins in Kenya’s Rift Valley, hence the name.  It was reported that livestock from that area was first infected in 1931.

In humans, symptoms of this disease can be from mild flu to a severe hemorrhagic fever that could be life-threatening.

How Do Humans Get The Disease?

Most cases of the Rift Valley Fever result from either direct or indirect contact with the blood or organs of infected animals, usually by butchering, assisting with animal births, or disposal of animal carcasses.

Another way of transmission is through the bites of mosquitoes. The mosquitoes themselves are not infected, but instead, carry the virus through their mouthparts. They acquire this from biting other infected animals. The species that carry this are the Aedes and Culex mosquitoes.

Signs And Symptoms

The incubation period can be from 2 to 6 days after infection. Symptoms usually are fever, extreme weakness, dizziness, and back pain. Patients usually recover from 2 days to one week of the illness. However, there are a few people who may develop more serious symptoms. These are:

  • Diseases of the eyes, which accompanies the said symptoms above. These eye lesions last for as long as 12 weeks. Unfortunately, it could even lead to permanent vision loss.
  • Inflammation of the brain, or encephalitis. Headaches, coma, or seizures follow.
  • Others may have a hemorrhagic fever. Jaundice, vomiting of blood, bloody stool, bleeding gums, skin, and nose are the symptoms.


There is no specific treatment for Rift Valley Fever. This disease usually resolves by itself in a few days anyway. But for the rare, serious ones, supportive care is needed.


One important way of prevention is to get rid of mosquitoes in your area. This will not only prevent the spread of the Rift Valley Fever but also of other mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever, malaria, West Nile fever, and yellow fever. Here are some tips on how to get rid of mosquitoes:

  1. Remove any standing water. Mosquitoes breed and lay their eggs in stagnant water. Throw away any items that can hold water for a long time, like old plastic containers, old tires, old gutters, water barrels, and other similar items. Bear in mind that mosquitoes breed only in water that has been stagnant for one week.
  2. Use insect repellents for protection. Use repellents containing the ingredient DEET, which gives a higher level of protection.
  3. As much as possible, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants for added protection.  
  4. Use a mosquito swatter to eliminate mosquitoes on sight. Just be quick on your reflexes.

If you suspect mosquito infestations in your home, you may need the experts. Let Go-Forth Home Services Company get the job done for you. Go-Forth uses state-of-the-art equipment, so you can bid those mosquitoes - and diseases- goodbye. Just dial (877) 274-1475 to set an appointment.