Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 12, 2006
Publication Date: October 12, 2006
Citation: Britch, S.C., Linthicum, K. 2006. A review of issues and concerns of rift valley fever virus, a potential emerging threat to livestock, wildlife, and humans in the u.s., and a gis early warning system for rvf vectors. Proc. of the US Animal Health Association and American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN, October 12-18, 2006. Technical Abstract: Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus is a mosquito-borne zoonotic hemorrhagic disease that causes 100% abortions in ungulates such as cattle, sheep, and goats, and is often fatal to young animals. Though currently confined mainly to Africa this disease could be introduced into the U.S. and spread via mosquitoes at least as rapidly as WNV. Unlike WNV, Rift Valley fever is also transmitted by contact with infected tissues or aerosolized material, and there is no approved vaccine for humans or animals. We discuss work being done on RVF by collaborators in agencies within and outside of the USDA, such as pathways analysis, development of vaccines and test kits, and GIS modeling of vectors and vector habitat. Of particular concern is the relationship between the geography of human settlement and the livestock industry, the biogeography of wild ungulates, and the biogeography of potential RVF vectors. Our contribution is developing a GIS and remote sensing platform for early warning of elevated vector populations in the U.S. using satellite climate data and long-term mosquito surveillance data from mosquito control and public health agencies. Currently, the best strategy against Rift is preparation. By monitoring climate in Africa and the U.S., reports of RVF activity around the world, and vector populations in the U.S., we can target and implement control and containment resources to minimize effects of Rift should it appear here. Importantly, many of the systems we develop in preparation for RVF can be laterally transferred to inform strategies against any mosquito-borne disease threat.