Wednesday, May 5, 2010

More Fear!

Crime. Racial tension. Terror. High prices. Dangerous highways ...

South Africa can be a dangerous place. (As can most of the world, if you work at it.)

But just when you perhaps thought you had heard it all ... we have something else to worry about ahead of next month's tournament.

What, you ask?

Well, of course: Rift Valley Fever.

The World Health Organization is advising World Cup visitors to be on the watch for Rift Valley Fever, the Daily Telegraph reports.

Well, OK. And how do we get it? At the airport? In the stadiums? In the hotels?

Actually, no. None of those places.

You can get it on farms, game preserves, from raw meat, from being in contact with the blood or organs of dead animals ...

Yes. Not exactly the sort of activities the typical World Cup fan is likely to seek out.

WHO says mosquitoes also can pass on the disease. writes that ...

The UN health agency is not advising any international travel restrictions, but a statement on its website reads: "WHO recommends that visitors to South Africa, especially those intending to visit farms and/or game reserves, avoid coming into contact with animal tissues or blood, avoid drinking unpasteurized or uncooked milk or eating raw meat.

"All travellers should take appropriate precautions against mosquito bites (use of mosquito nets, insect repellents)."

So, what if you get the dread disease, which has killed 15 this year? Well, it's like the flu.

Actually, I feel a bit bad for South Africa sometimes. It has issues. Some of them quite serious. But Rift Valley Fever?

Sounds exotic, sounds dangerous even ... but if Rift Valley Fever turns out to be the biggest worry at South Africa 2010 ... it will have been a very good World Cup.
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