IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers| IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers|

Country Health Advice South Sudan

For Specific Travellers: Rift Valley Fever

South Sudan has confirmed cases of Rift Valley Fever in the Eastern Lakes State. 

For the latest information on Rift Valley Fever outbreaks please go to: ProMED-mail. Rift Valley fever - South Sudan (08): (E Lakes) human, livestock, update, WHO. ProMED-mail 2018; April 10: 20180410.5736863. <ProMED-mail>. & WHO Weekly Update on Outbreaks and Other Emergencies. Week 29: 14-20 July 2018. <WHO>. Accessed on July 24, 2018. 

Description

Rift Valley Fever is an infection caused by the RVF virus belonging to the the Bunyaviridae family. It is a zoonosis – an animal disease that can spread to humans – that primarily affects livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats, buffalo, and camels. Humans become ill with Rift Valley Fever when they are bitten by infected mosquitoes, blood feeding flies, or come into contact with infected animal blood, fluid, or tissues through a skin lesion or inhaling infected air droplets from animals. No human to human transmission of the RVF virus has been reported.

Risk

The infection is endemic in northern, eastern, and southern Africa and outbreaks have also occurred in the Arabian Peninsula. There is greater risk for campers or persons spending a significant time outdoors. RIft Valley Fever is an occupational risk for veterinarians, herders, and abattoir workers.

Symptoms

In some cases the infection is asymptomatic – persons do not exhibit symptoms. However, those who show symptoms get ill 2 to 6 days after exposure to the virus with flu-like symptoms, including sudden fever, muscle and joint pain, and headache. Sensitivity to light, neck stiffness, vomiting and loss of appetite are also common. Most patients recover 4 to 7 days later, but some end up with one or more severe forms of the infection: Ocular syndrome (legions to the retina causing possible vision loss), meningoencephalitis (brain swelling causing memory loss, hallucinations, and convulsions) and /or haemorrhagic fever (uncontrolled bleeding and possible liver damage).

Prevention
  • Avoid coming into close contact with animals.
  • Do not and eat or drink unpasteurized milk, dairy products, and undercooked meat. 
  • Use a repellent containing 20%-30% DEET or 20% Picaridin on exposed skin. Re-apply according to manufacturer's directions.
  • Wear neutral-coloured (beige, light grey) clothing. If possible, wear long-sleeved, breathable garments.
  • If available, pre-soak or spray outer layer clothing and gear with permethrin.
  • Get rid of water containers around dwellings and ensure that door and window screens work properly.
  • Apply sunscreen first followed by the repellent (preferably 20 minutes later).
  • More details on insect bite prevention.

There is no preventive medication or vaccine against Rift Valley Fever.

Rift Valley Fever virus images, life cycle, and distribution maps
Infection Landscapes

Health risk description last reviewed: September 14, 2016
Country information last updated: August 13, 2018


Sources

  • Bird BH, Reynes J-M, Nichol ST. Rift Valley Fever. In: McGill, A; Ryan, E; Hill, D; Solomon, T, eds. Hunter's Tropical Medicine and Emerging Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. New York: Saunders Elsevier; 2013: 340-343.
  • Peters CJ, Makino S, Morrill JC. Rift Valley Fever. In: Guerrant, R; Walker D; Weller P, eds. Tropical Infectious Diseases. 3rd ed. New York: Saunders Elsevier; 2011: 462-465.
  • Wertheim, Heiman; Horby, Peter; Woodall, John, eds. Atlas of Human Infectious Diseases. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell; 2012. 273 p.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Rift Valley Fever
  • World Health Organization: Rift Valley Fever Fact Sheet No. 207



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