Rift Valley fever - Annual Epidemiological Report 2016 [2014 data]

Surveillance report
Publication series: Annual Epidemiological Report
Time period covered: 01 January 2014 - 31 December 2014

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Annual Epidemiological Report for 2014  – Rift Valley fever. [Internet]. Stockholm: ECDC; 2016 [cited YYYY Month DD]. -

There were no cases of Rift Valley fever reported in EU/EEA countries in 2014.

Key facts

• There were no cases of Rift Valley fever reported in EU/EEA countries in 2014.


Click here for a detailed description of the methods used to produce this annual report

  • Data were obtained from 23 EU/EEA countries.
  • The EU case definition was used by 14 countries; four countries used an alternative case definition, and five countries did not provide information on case definitions.
  • Surveillance is compulsory in 19 EU/EEA countries, voluntary in two (Ireland and the United Kingdom), and mostly passive (Annex 1). Data reporting is case based and done at the national level.


No cases of Rift Valley fever were reported in 2014 in the EU. Between 2010 and 2014, three cases were reported in the EU. Two cases were reported in 2012 (one from France and one from the United Kingdom) who were probably infected in Comoros and Egypt, respectively. In 2013, one case – probably infected in Uganda – was reported by the United Kingdom.


Rift Valley fever is an acute viral febrile haemorrhagic disease that affects primarily ruminants in Africa and in the Arabian Peninsula (such as cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats and camels). The disease is caused by a virus from the Phlebovirus genus of the Bunyaviridae family.

Rift Valley fever occurs in humans in many sub-Saharan countries, in Madagascar, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Humans may become infected by mosquito bites and through direct or indirect contact with the blood or organs of infected animals. While most human cases are relatively mild (influenza-like illness), a small percentage of patients develops a severe form of the disease, with haemorrhagic manifestations, hepatitis and neurological disorders.

Rift Valley fever is notifiable to the World Organisation for Animal Health [1]. Animal movement may contribute to viral spread, threatening countries in the Mediterranean basin where competent vectors are present [2].

In 2014, Botswana reported an outbreak in cattle in the northern part of the country (Chobe) in July and another outbreak in August in goats in the southern region (Gaborone) [3]. In 2013, Mauritania and Senegal reported epizootics in ruminants including wild fauna [4][5].


1. World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Animal Health in the World – Overview [Internet].  2014 [cited 2015 Jan 7].  

2. Chevalier V. Relevance of Rift Valley fever to public health in the European Union. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2013 Aug;19(8):705-8.

3. World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Rift Valley fever, Botswana [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2014 Aug 7].

4. World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Event summary: Rift Valley fever, Mauritania [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2013 Oct 17]. 

5. Promed-mail. Rift Valley fever, sheep, goat and camelidae – Mauritania, Senegal 2013 [cited 2013 Oct 18].

4. EFSA (European Food Safety Authority), ECDC. The European Union summary report on trends and sources of zoonoses, zoonotic agents and foodborne outbreaks in 2014. EFSA Journal 2015;13(12):4329. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2015.4329.

Publication data