Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2009
Publication Date: 2/2/2010
Citation: Linthicum, K. 2010. The Example of Eastern Africa: the dynamic of Rift Valley fever and tools for monitoring virus activity. In de La Rocque, S., Formenty, P. editors. Rift Valley fever Outbreaks Forecasting Models. Rome, Italy. p. 8-9.
Interpretive Summary: Rift Valley fever is a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes that occurs in Africa and the Middle East. Ecological studies have demonstrated that outbreaks of the disease are caused by unusually heavy rainfall that floods soil habitats where mosquito eggs lay dormant. The flooding causes a hatch of eggs that are infected with the virus and the subsequent adult mosquitoes transmit the virus to domestic animals and humans. Based on this knowledge we can predict when outbreaks will occur. This predictive capability enables official to implement appropriate and effective control disease control methods, including mosquito control methods.
Technical Abstract: Rift Valley fever is a mosquito-borne viral zoonosis that primarily affects animals but also has the capacity to infect humans. Outbreaks of this disease in eastern Africa are closely associated with periods of heavy rainfall and forecasting models and early warning systems have been developed to enable national authorities to implement measure to aver impending outbreaks. The ecology of Rift Valley fever is discussed as it relates to developing a dynamic map of the disease risk in East Africa. Knowledge of the ecology of the disease and the population dynamics of the mosquito vectors might allow us to develop effective mitigation strategies which include vector control components. Appropriate and effective vector control methods are discussed and evaluated for their potential efficacy.