Rift Valley Fever in Sudan - update 4
21 December 2007
Human cases of Rift Valley fever (RVF) continue to occur in Sudan. As of 19 December 2007, a total of 601 human RVF cases, including 211 deaths, have been reported from White Nile, Sennar, Gazeera and River Nile States. In addition 31 cases including 7 deaths were reported in Khartoum State, but they are believed to have acquired the infection in the other affected areas. Gazeera State continues to report the most human cases, and now accounts for 406 cases and 148 deaths.
In RVF outbreaks, the vast majority of human infections result from direct or indirect contact with the blood or organs of infected animals. The virus can be transmitted to humans through the handling of animal tissue during slaughtering or butchering, assisting with animal births, conducting veterinary procedures, or from the disposal of carcasses or fetuses. Human infections have also resulted from the bites of infected mosquitoes. Humans may also become infected with RVF by ingesting the unpasteurized or uncooked milk or meat of infected animals.
Continued, integrated intensive social mobilization efforts are urgently needed, using all locally available media, including television and radio channels, as well as community and religious leaders, to ensure that at-risk communities are fully aware of the measures that need to be taken to reduce the risk of human infection.