Emergencies preparedness, response

1998 - Rift Valley fever in Mauritania

10 November 1998

Disease Outbreak Reported

An outbreak of Rift Valley fever has occurred in the Aioun area, in south-eastern Mauritania. There have been 300-400 human cases (febrile disease), including 6 deaths between 15 and 30 September (some with haemorrhage and icterus). The latter were aged between 14 and 40 years, and all were from areas where goats, sheep, cattle and camels are raised. In the Assaba area, 2 patients were admitted to hospital; both died. The epidemic peaked in late September/early October, and the most recent case was reported around 25 October. Rift Valley fever virus has been isolated from 2 samples (1 postmortem) at the Pasteur Institute in Dakar (Senegal). Livestock were also severely affected (with up to 100% abortion rates for some species), which will have serious economic consequences for the population. The Ministry of Health has issued recommendations, and is carrying out investigations with the support of WHO and FAO.