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May 5, 2010

Warning over Rift Valley Fever

By Soccernet staff

Fans travelling to the World Cup face the threat of an airborne disease that has already killed 15 people.

Rift Valley Fever has infected 172 people in South Africa and the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that travellers visiting rural areas and particularly game reserves are in danger of infection.

However, the organisation says that exposure to infected mosquitoes "cannot be ruled out" as a potential cause of infection.

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)."