Disease leads to drop in meat sales

An outbreak of Rift Valley Fever has hit central Africa, leading to a dramatic fall in the sales of meat.

Reports state that meat traders in the Arusha region of Tanzania have seen their livelihoods grind to a halt as the livestock disease, which can be transmitted to humans has swept across the continent.

The chairman of Arusha Meat Traders Association, Jackson Marwa, told a Kenyan newspaper that demand for fresh meat is down to 2,470 kg per day, from 16,900 kg per day before the outbreak.

Rift Valley Fever is a virus that in humans causes symptoms such as fever and headache. It can progress into a more serious disease and 1% of sufferers die. It kills significantly more livestock than this, and causes abortion in pregnant livestock.

Since 7 January, when the outbreak emerged, 75 people have died and livestock markets across the region have had to close.

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