Location: Mosquito and Fly Research Unit
Title: Current Issues and Concerns Regarding Rift Valley Fever, An Emerging Virus Threat Authors
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 11, 2006
Publication Date: July 11, 2006
Citation: Britch, S.C., Linthicum, K. 2006. Current issues and concerns regarding rift valley fever, an emerging virus threat. National Cattlemen's Beef Association Summer Convention, Reno, NV, July 11-13, 2006. Technical Abstract: Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus is a mosquito-borne zoonotic hemorrhagic disease that causes 100% abortions in 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 discussed 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. Our contribution is developing a GIS and remote sensing platform for early warning of vector population spikes in the U.S. using satellite climate data and long-term mosquito surveillance data. Currently, the best strategy against Rift is preparation. By monitoring climate in Africa, reports of RVF activity, 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. We asked the Emerging Cattle Health and Issues Working Group for suggestions on contacts in the NCBA, the cattle industry, and animal health professions through which to submit and disseminate our findings and recommendations.