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Rift valley fever surveillance in the lower Senegal river basin: update 10 years after the epidemic

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After the Rift valley fever (RVF) epidemic of 1987 in the Senegal River Basin, RVF surveillance based on serosurveys has been conducted for 10 years. Serum samples were obtained from 1336 persons and from sheep and goats in selected areas, and these were tested for IgG/IgM RVF antibodies by ELISA. After a period of regular decrease in RVF prevalence in domestic animals until 1993, an epizootic was observed in all herds in 1994–95 with increases in IgM levels and abortions. During the same period, no human cases or RVF IgM were detected. The RVF IgG prevalence significantly correlated with date of birth: children born after 1987 have a low prevalence (5%) in clear contrast to the older population (25.3%) in Podor district. A retrospective analysis of rainfall and RVF prevalence in small domestic animals over the last 10 years showed that the re-emergence correlated with heavy rainfall. A general analysis of the risk of re-emergence and the efficiency of this RVF surveillance system are presented.

Keywords: Rift valley fever; Senegal; rainfall; seroprevalence

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Unit of Arbovirology, Institut Pasteur de Dakar, Senegal 2: Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Gent, Merelbeke, Belgium 3: Institut Senegalais de Recherches Agricoles, Dakar, Senegal

Publication date: August 1, 1999


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