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10 Jan 2020 | 10:08 PM UTC

Sudan: Rift Valley Fever outbreak ongoing as of late December 2019

Health officials confirm 493 cases of Rift Valley Fever (RFV) as of December 19, 2019, in multiple states; take necessary precautions

health
SDN

Event

An outbreak of Rift Valley Fever (RFV) is ongoing in multiple states across Sudan as of late December 2019. According to the Federal Ministry of Health of Sudan, 493 cases have been recorded as of December 19 in the states of Al Qadaref, Al Jazirah, Kassala, Khartoum, Red Sea, River Nile, and White Nile. About 99 percent of cases have been reported in River Nile and Red Sea states. Ministry of Health officials, along with the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Animal Resources, are conducting an investigation into the high number of cases in Red Sea state, particularly at Port Sudan. Further spread of RVF is possible in the near term.

Context

Rift Valley Fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever that is generally contracted via contact with the carcasses of infected animals, but can also be transmitted through ticks and biting midges. Symptoms generally include hemorrhagic fever, headaches, and muscle pains, while more severe symptoms include loss of sight and brain inflammation, which can cause seizures and headaches. Fatalities occur in less than 1 percent of infected individuals.

Advice

Individuals present in affected areas are advised to be extremely vigilant and to take measures to protect themselves from insect bites (e.g. by wearing covering clothing, using insect repellent, and sleeping under mosquito-netting or in an air-conditioned room). Those present in affected areas should also avoid all contact with farm animals. Individuals exhibiting any of the above symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.