Africa - El Niño and increased risk of Rift Valley fever – Warning to countries

Africa - El Niño and increased risk of Rift Valley fever – Warning to countries
Dec 2015

Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a zoonotic, viral, vector-borne disease representing a threat to human health, animal health and livestock production in Africa, the Near East and potentially Europe and the rest of the world. In this EMPRES WATCH, a description of the past RVF epidemic in East Africa during the period 2006-2007 and the RVF cases recently occurred in Mauritania in 2015 is presented together with an update of the RVF risk model based on in east Africa and the predicted El Niño event associated with abundant rainfall in extensive areas of the East African region.

In some locations the rainfall estimates and anomalies for October and mid-November 2015 are similar to, or above, values observed in 1997/1998 and/or in 2006/2007, when major outbreaks occurred in Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania. This EMPRES Watch is warning countries about the increased risk of Rift Valley fever disease in livestock and human of Africa and provides recommendations to prevent, respond and reduce the risk.