Football fans travelling to South Africa warned of deadly fever outbreak

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London, May 6 (ANI): Football fans travelling to South Africa for the World Cup are being warned over a deadly outbreak of Rift Valley Fever, an animal-borne disease, which has infected 172 people in the country, killing 15.

The health warning is another blow to South Africa's tourist industry, already complaining of a lack of bookings for the 2010 tournament, which kicks off on June 11.

The World Health Organisation warning was issued after a German tourist contracted the illness following a three-week holiday in South AFrica.

The woman, who has since recovered, visited the Eastern and Western Cape.

The provinces include the cities of Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, where the England team is scheduled to play two of its group stage matches, SKY News reports.

The UN health agency has not advised visitors to avoid travelling to South Africa, but has urged them to guard against mosquito bites and avoid contact with raw animal products.

Fifa's accommodation service, Match, has cancelled thousands of block bookings at hotels across the country because of lower than expected demand.

The World Cup organisers had originally estimated 450,000 foreign visitors would travel to South Africa.

The revised figure is now between 270,000 and 350,000, with the global recession and the high cost of flights and accommodation being blamed. (ANI)

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