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Rift Valley Fever – Mauritania

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The Ministry of Well being (MoH) notified WHO that between 13 September and 1 October 2020, eight circumstances of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) together with seven deaths have been confirmed in animal breeders. Districts affected embody Tidjikja and Moudjéria (Tagant area), Guerou (Assaba area) and Chinguetty (Adrar area). Laboratory affirmation of RVF an infection was carried out utilizing a reverse transcription polymerase chain response (RT-PCR) on the Nationwide Institute for Public Well being Analysis (INRSP) in Nouakchott. The age of contaminated sufferers various between 16 and 70 years outdated and included one girl and 7 males. All seven deaths occurred amongst hospitalised sufferers with fever and haemorrhagic syndrome (petechia, gingivorrhagia) and vomiting.

Between four September to 7 November 2020, a complete of 214 folks have been sampled and their samples have been despatched to the INRSP for laboratory testing with a complete of 75 testing constructive for RVF (RT-PCR and serology by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Constructive circumstances have been reported in 11 of 15 areas of the nation: Brakna, Trarza, Gorgol, (on the border with Senegal), Adrar, Assaba, Hodh El Gharby, Hodh El Chargui, Guidimaka (on the border with Mali) and Nouakchott Sud, Nouakchott Ouest and Tagant. The Tagant area is probably the most affected (38/75, 51%) with principal hotspot districts being Tidjikja and Moudjeria. To this point a complete of 25 deaths have been reported from this outbreak.

Outbreaks in animals have additionally been confirmed within the areas of Assaba, Tagant, Brakna, Trarza, Hodh El Gharbi and Hodh El Chargui. The outcomes of 557 animal samples taken as of 15 October 2020 confirmed that 74 camels, 52 small ruminants and 12 cattle have been constructive for Rift Valley Fever.

Public Well being Response

Because the starting of the outbreak, WHO has been working intently with the Ministry of Well being to reply to the present outbreak and monitor the evolution of the epidemiological state of affairs.

WHO is supporting the next public well being actions being carried out to reply to the outbreak:

  • Common coordination and technical conferences between public well being and animal well being sectors
  • Coordination of the outbreak response actions on the human-animal interface in all affected areas
  • Epidemiological investigation
  • Reinforcement of diagnostic capacities
  • Preparation of communication instruments
  • Mobilization of sources and experience

Joint subject missions by FAO, OIE and WHO specialists are deliberate to help MOH and the Ministry of Rural Growth within the prevention and management of RVF outbreaks, particularly on the subject of laboratory capacities, surveillance and danger communication to varied populations in danger, and in different points associated to the “One Well being” idea.

WHO danger evaluation

The COVID-19 epidemic, which has been ongoing since February 2020, is placing strain on well being providers and on the actions of the Nationwide Reference Laboratory for Public Well being (INRSP). There’s a giant demand for the evaluation of COVID-19 samples, limiting the processing of samples from different pathologies. The lifting of containment measures for the COVID-19 epidemic and restrictions on journey overseas has led to a rise within the motion of individuals to rural areas in quest of animal merchandise (like milk and meat).

RVF outbreaks have been reported beforehand in Mauritania, and the nation has skilled six main outbreaks up to now (1987, 1998, 2003, 2010, 2012 and 2015) affecting a number of departments within the areas of Brakna, Tagant, Assaba, Adrar, Inchiri, Trarza, Hodh Elgharby and Hodh El Chargui. The present outbreak affecting human and animals occurred after heavy, uncommon and extended rainfall within the areas with excessive animal density which contributed to the proliferation of vectors and the unfold of the virus. Throughout scorching seasons, folks spend extra time in rural areas with historical past of RVF transmission, resting at night time within the open air. This may very well be a danger issue for publicity to mosquitoes and others vector of the illness. It’s probably that the season change from November to February (temperate season) might restrict the transmission of the illness with the due the discount of the proliferation of mosquitoes.

Nearly all of Mauritania (77%) is taken into account arid or semi-arid and the motion of animals in quest of water and pasture will increase the chance of illness unfold. Uncontrolled cross-border pastoral actions additionally will increase the chance for regional illness unfold to Senegal, Mali and Morocco, and cooperation between neighbouring nations is important for RVF surveillance, prevention and management.

Individuals who have direct or oblique contact with contaminated animals or with the blood or organs of contaminated animals in RVF endemic areas are at increased danger of an infection. This may embody herders, farmers, slaughterhouse staff, veterinarians and others who work with animals and animal associated merchandise.

Up to now, no human-to-human transmission of RVF has been documented.

The extent of danger at nationwide stage is taken into account excessive: this epidemic represents a excessive danger for human well being with a proportion of deaths of 33% (25/75) as of 31 October 2020. Affirmation of the circulation of the virus in animals from a number of outbreaks poses a fantastic danger of human an infection. This epidemic exhibits a big geographic emergence and is transferring via animal actions in agro-pastoral zones on the nationwide stage.

As of seven November October 2020, 11 of 15 areas affected by the epidemic. The nationwide human surveillance system faces operational challenges starting from early detection to notification of circumstances. Help measures are inadequate. The excessive lethality can be linked to the late referral of sufferers with extreme signs, admitted to care buildings with restricted medical care.

The general danger on the regional stage is average: There’s a actual danger of propagation on the regional stage given the favorable circumstances of propagation of the vectors (heavy rainfall, proliferation of vectors, floods, lack of sanitation), animal density, and uncontrolled actions of livestock between areas and border nations (Mali, Senegal, Morocco).

WHO recommendation

Rift Valley Fever is an environmentally-driven mosquito-borne zoonosis that primarily impacts home animals (together with cattle, sheep, camels and goats). Human circumstances usually happen in proximity to outbreaks in livestock in an surroundings beneficial for mosquito vectors to transmit the virus domestically. Most human infections end result from direct or oblique contact with the blood or organs of contaminated animals. Care have to be taken when dealing with sick animals or human sufferers, their merchandise and laboratory samples. Elevating consciousness of the chance elements of RVF an infection in addition to different protecting measures akin to vector management and safety in opposition to mosquito bites is the important thing to cut back human an infection and deaths. Public well being messages for danger discount ought to deal with:

  • Lowering the chance of animal-to-human transmission on account of unsafe animal husbandry and slaughtering practices. Practising hand hygiene, sporting gloves and different applicable particular person protecting tools when dealing with sick animals or their tissues or when slaughtering animals
  • Lowering the chance of animal-to-human transmission arising from the unsafe consumption of recent blood, uncooked milk or animal tissue by totally cooking earlier than consuming
  • Lowering the chance of mosquito bites via the implementation of vector management actions (e.g. insecticide spraying and use of larvicide to cut back mosquito breeding websites), use of insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets and repellents, masking clothes
  • Avoiding out of doors exercise at peak biting instances of the vector species

As outbreaks of RVF in animals precede human circumstances, the institution of an lively animal well being surveillance system is important in offering early warning for animal and public well being authorities. Routine animal immunization in endemic areas can stop RVF epizootics. Vaccination campaigns are usually not really helpful throughout an outbreak as it might intensify transmission among the many herd via needle propagation of the virus. Due to this fact, public training, livestock quarantine, and slaughter bans are maybe the simplest measures in opposition to illness unfold through the pre-outbreak and outbreak phases

WHO advises in opposition to the applying of any journey or commerce restrictions on Mauritania or the affected space based mostly on the present data out there on this occasion.

For extra data on Rift Valley fever, please see the hyperlinks under:


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