Outbreak of Rift Valley Fever reported in World Cup host country

The World Health Organization is not advising international travel restrictions to South Africa for those attending this summer's World Cup tournament despite a recently reported Rift Valley Fever outbreak. 

Reuters reports that arm of the United Nations warned visitors to the host country on Tuesday to avoid contact with raw meat and advocated mosquito bite prevention due to a Rift Valley Fever outbreak.  

According to Reuters, 172 human cases of Rift Valley Fever have been reported in South Africa so far this year, resulting in 15 deaths. 

Rift Valley Fever often causes neck stiffness and mild flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it progresses to dizziness and even comas, the WHO told Reuters. The WHO states that a small percentage of people who have Rift Valley Fever develop a hemorrhagic form, causing vomiting of blood, bleeding of the nose, gums and skin. Half of the people who develop that form of the fever die.

Reuters reports that tourists often contract the disease in South Africa while visiting game preserves. 

"People should be aware there is Rift Valley Fever in several provinces and should take precautions when visiting areas where they could be exposed to animals that could be infected," WHO spokeswoman Aphaluck Bhatiasevi told Reuters.

A vaccine has been developed for humans but is not yet commercially available.