Published Date: 2012-10-05 19:34:27
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Rift Valley fever - Mauritania (02): fatalities
Archive Number: 20121005.1326899
RIFT VALLEY FEVER - MAURITANIA (02): FATALITIES
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Thu 4 Oct 2012
Source: Flutrackers.com [machine transl., edited]
Mauritania -- Rift Valley fever cases
Ministers of health, equipment employment, education and transport on late Thursday [4 Oct 2012] afternoon issued a statement on discussions of the Council of Ministers held a few hours earlier. The Minister of Health, Mr. Hamady Ba Housseynou, presented to Cabinet a paper on an outbreak of Rift Valley fever (RFV) in Mauritania. The Minister reported that 7 cases of fever had been recorded in the country causing 4 deaths. 2 of the survivors were recovering and one was still under treatment.
This is not the 1st time that Rift Valley fever has occurred in Mauritania. Cases were recorded in Adrar in 2010. Among the causes of Rift valley fever are high rainfall and lack of ability to cook meat thoroughly. Mr. Hamady Ba Housseynou called on citizens to look out for signs of the disease and to take appropriate action immediately to contain the infection.
The Department of Health says it is ready to intervene at any time. But the situation is much more difficult for cases that occur away from urban areas on account of the difficult in provision the supply of blood that is vital to save the patients' lives.
The current disease situation situation is not unusual and there is no cause for panic. The cases are sporadic and there is no focal epidemic.
Correspondent Gert van der Hoek
[Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a viral zoonosis that primarily affects animals but also has the capacity to infect humans. Infection can cause severe disease in both animals and humans. The disease also results in significant economic losses due to death and abortion among RVF-infected livestock. 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. Certain occupational groups such as herders, farmers, slaughterhouse workers and veterinarians are therefore at higher risk of infection. There is some evidence that humans may also become infected with RVF by ingesting the unpasteurized or uncooked milk of infected animals.
Human infections have also resulted from the bites of infected mosquitoes, most commonly the _Aedes_ mosquito. Transmission of RVF virus by hematophagous (blood-feeding) flies is also possible.
To date, no human-to-human transmission of RVF has been documented, and no transmission of RVF to health care workers has been reported when standard infection control precautions have been put in place. There has been no evidence of outbreaks of RVF in urban areas.
The incubation period for RVF varies from 2 to 6 days. The symptoms of RVF usually last from 4 to 7 days, after which time the immune response becomes detectable with the appearance of antibodies and the virus gradually disappears from the blood. While most human cases are relatively mild, a small percentage of patients develop a much more severe form of the disease. This usually appears as one or more of 3 distinct syndromes: ocular (eye) disease (0.5-2 percent of patients), meningoencephalitis (less than 1 percent) or haemorrhagic fever (less than 1 percent). The total case fatality rate has varied widely between different epidemics but, overall, has been less than 1 percent in those documented cases. Most fatalities occur in patients who develop the haemorrhagic icterus form. For further information, see: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs207/en/index.html).
The interactive ProMED/HealthMap of Mauritania can be accessed at: http://healthmap.org/r/3AVt. - Mod.CP]