Rift valley fever in Africa with the emerging interest in Libya





Journal title

International Journal of One Health


Vol. 2 No. 7


Abdusalam Sharef Mahmoud


237 - 245


Rift valley fever (RVF) is an acute vector-borne viral zoonotic disease of domestic and wild ruminants. The RVF virus (RVFV) belonging to the Phlebovirus genus of the Bunyaviridae family causes this disease. Studies have shown that mosquitoes are the vectors that transmit RVFV. Specifically, Aedes and Culex mosquito species are among the many vectors of this virus, which affects not only sheep, goats, buffalo, cattle, and camels but also human beings. Since the 30s of the last century, RVF struck Africa, and to a lesser extent, Asian continents, with subsequent episodes of epizootic, epidemic, and sporadic outbreaks. These outbreaks, therefore, resulted in the cumulative loss of thousands of human lives, thereby disrupting the livestock market or only those with seropositive cases. After that outbreak episode, RVF was not reported in Libya until January 13, 2020, where it was reported for the 1st time in a flock of sheep and goats in the southern region of the country. Although insufficient evidence to support RVF clinical cases among the confirmed seropositive animals exists, neither human cases nor death were reported in Libya. Yet, the overtime expansion of RVF kinetics in the Libyan neighborhoods, in addition to the instability and security vacuum experienced in the country, lack of outbreak preparedness, and the availability of suitable climatic and disease vector factors, makes this country a possible future scene candidate for RVF expansion. Urgently, strengthening veterinary services (VS) and laboratory diagnostic capacities, including improvement of monitoring and surveillance activity programs, should be implemented in areas at risk (where imported animals crossing borders from Libyan neighborhoods and competent vectors are found) at national, sub-national, and regional levels. The Libyan government should also implement a tripartite framework (one health approach) among the veterinary public health, public health authority, and environmental sanitation sectors to implement RVF surveillance protocols, along with an active partnership with competent international bodies (OIE, FAO, and WHO). Therefore, this review comprises the most updated data regarding the epidemiological situation of RVF infections and its socioeconomic impacts on African and Asian continents, and also emphasize the emerging interest of RVF in Libya

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