Prevention and control measures for Rift Valley fever


A human inactivated vaccine was used in the USA to protect laboratory and military staff (RVF is considered as a possible biological weapon). Its production was stopped because of logistical constraints.

Because the initial epidemiological cycle involves domestic ruminants, and humans mostly become infected after contact with viraemic animals, vaccination of ruminants is the favoured method of preventing human disease. Both live and inactivated vaccines are available for livestock. The Smithburn vaccine is a modified live virus vaccine. It is immunogenic for sheep, goats and cattle, and it protects against abortion caused by a wild virus strain. However, it has a residual pathogenic effect in humans (flu-like syndrome) and ruminants (abortion, congenital malformation).

The inactivated RVF vaccine provides a lower level of protection and its production is more expensive. Moreover, it requires at least two inoculations to induce the desired level of protection.

Candidate vaccines have been developed; some of them are in the evaluation phase (e.g. clone 13 for ruminants).

Other recommended measures include a ban on slaughtering and butchering ruminants during epizootics, the use of insect repellents and bed nets during outbreaks, the implementation of information campaigns for people at risk (farmers, veterinarians, slaughterhouse employees, butchers, etc.), and the appropriate disposal of dead animals.

Mosquito prevention and control