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Climate models predict increased risk of precipitations in the Horn of Africa for end of 2008

FAO and WHO warn countries in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula that Rift Valley Fever may strike again at the end of 2008









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    Possible RVF activity in the Horn of Africa 2006
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    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is an arthropod-borne viral disease of ruminants, camels and humans. It is a significant zoonosis which may present itself from an uncomplicated influenza-like illness to a haemorrhagic disease with severe liver involvement and ocular or neurological lesions. In animals, RVF may be unapparent in non-pregnant adults, but outbreaks are characterised by the onset of abortions and high neonatal mortality. Transmission to humans may occur through close contact with infected ma terial (slaughtering or manipulation of runts), but the virus (Phlebovirus) is transmitted in animals by various arthropods including 6 mosquito genus (Aedes, Culex, Mansonia, Anopheles, Coquillettidia and Eretmapodites) with more than 30 species of mosquitoes recorded as infected and some of them been proved to have a role as vectors. Most of these species get the infection by biting infected vertebrates, yet some of these (specifically Aedes species) transmit the virus to their eggs. These inf ected pools of eggs can survive through desiccation during months or years and restart the transmission after flooding, and then other species (Culex spp.) may be involved as secondary vectors. This vertical infection explains how the disease can persist between outbreaks.
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    Rift Valley fever outbreaks in Madagascar and potential risks to neighbouring countries 2008
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    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is an arthropod-borne viral disease of ruminants, camels and humans. It is a significant zoonosis which may present itself from an uncomplicated influenza-like illness to a haemorrhagic disease with severe liver involvement and ocular or neurological lesions. In animals, RVF may be unapparent in non-pregnant adults, but outbreaks are characterised by the onset of a large number of abortions and high neonatal mortality. The virus (Phlebovirus) is usually transmitted by var ious arthropods. Human infections have also resulted from the bites of infected mosquitoes, most commonly the Aedes mosquito. Mosquitoes from six genera (Aedes, Culex, Mansonia, Anopheles, Coquillettidia and Eretmapodites), including more than 30 species, have been recorded as infected, and some of them are proven to have a role as vectors. Most of these species acquire the infection by biting infected vertebrate animals, but some (specifically Aedes spp.) pass the virus transovarially (vertical transmission). These infected pools of eggs can survive through desiccation for months or years and restart transmission after flooding; then other species (Culex spp.) may be involved as secondary vectors. Vertical transmission (from an infected female mosquito to eggs) explains how the virus can persist for many years or decades between outbreaks.
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    Rift Valley Fever could spread with movement of animals from East Africa 2007
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    RVF is a per-acute or acute disease of domestic ruminants, caused by a mosquito-borne virus and characterised by hepatic necrosis and internal haemorrhages. The severity and degree of clinical signs may vary according to age or breeds of the animals affected, with infections usually unapparent or mild in adults but high mortality rates in new-born animals and abortions in pregnant animals . RVF is a zoonotic disease and humans become infected through contact with tissues of infected animals or m osquito bites. Infection in humans is usually associated with mild to moderately severe influenza-like illness, but severe complications such as retinal damage and blindness, encephalitis or haemorrhagic disease occur in about 1% of patients. The case fatality rate in humans can be considerable.

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