Cablegate: Sudan - Rift Valley Fever
PP RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1689/01 3040940
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 310940Z OCT 07 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9000
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001689
STATE FOR AF/SPG, PRM, AND ALSO PASS USAID/W
USAID FOR DCHA SUDAN TEAM, AFR/SP
NAIROBI FOR USAID/DCHA/OFDA, USAID/REDSO, AND FAS
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
NAIROBI FOR SFO
NSC FOR PMARCHAM, MMAGAN, AND TSHORTLEY
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
USUN FOR TMALY
BRUSSELS FOR PBROWN
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF PGOV PHUM SOCI UN SU
SUBJECT: SUDAN - RIFT VALLEY FEVER
KHARTOUM 00001689 001.2 OF 002
1. On October 28, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) reported
that Rift Valley fever (RVF) has been confirmed in three states in
northern Sudan. RVF is a viral zoonosis that primarily affects
animals but also can infect humans. WHO reported that out of 70
known human cases 40 deaths had occurred since the initial reports
of the disease in late September. Initially, the fever was
diagnosed as yellow fever, but laboratory tests have confirmed the
outbreak is Rift Valley fever instead. WHO and the Government of
National Unity (GNU) Ministry of Health (MOH) are leading the
response to human RVF cases and have deployed teams to the affected
areas. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the GNU
Ministry of Animal Resources (MOAR) are coordinating efforts in the
livestock sector. End Summary.
Affected States in Sudan
2. As of October 28, WHO reported 70 suspected cases of RVF,
including 40 deaths. Laboratory tests on human samples have
confirmed RVF in 20 of those cases. No animal samples have been
tested to date.
3. RVF has been confirmed in Al Managil locality in Gezira State, Al
Gabalian and Kosti localities in White Nile State, and Singa
locality in Sinnar State. WHO reported that one RVF patient from
Renk in Upper Nile State was being treated in White Nile, indicating
that Upper Nile State may also be affected. WHO informed the
Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) on this finding. Recently
reported cases in Khartoum State were found to have been imported
from White Nile State. WHO does not believe that Khartoum State is
affected at this stage.
4. WHO and MOH plan to release a joint response plan in the coming
days. WHO has deployed teams to the affected states to collect
additional samples, identify cases, provide training to health care
staff, and identify prevention activities.
5. The FAO and MOAR have deployed teams to collect animal samples
in the affected areas.
6. USAID will continue to participate in task force meetings,
coordinate with partners on appropriate responses, and report on the
evolving situation as needed.
Background on Rift Valley Fever
7. According to WHO, RVF is a viral disease of animals that can be
transmitted to humans through infected Aedes mosquitoes that bite
mostly during the day from just after dawn to just after sunset.
RVF is not transmitted directly from person to person. Humans are
infected with RVF mainly through direct contact with animal body
fluids such as blood, milk, and raw meat. RVF is found mostly in
eastern and southern Africa but is also found throughout sub-Saharan
8. An outbreak can occur if there is increased pooling of water,
commonly after flooding, leading to increased mosquitoes breeding.
9. Most infected people do not have any symptoms or have mild fever.
Most people recover within a week. If the patient has an acute
case, the symptoms are typically fever, back pain, dizziness, and
weight loss. Some cases progress to hemorrhagic fever,
encephalitis, and eye disease. As most human cases of RVF are
relatively mild and short in duration, no specific treatment is
required for these patients. For the more severe cases, the
predominant treatment is general supportive therapy.
10. The most significant effects are usually in the livestock
11. Prevention methods for RVF include avoiding close contact with
body fluids of livestock, vector control strategies such as
distribution of long lasting insecticide-treated nets, and
environmental management, including proper water storage and
KHARTOUM 00001689 002.2 OF 002
covering of containers to prevent mosquito breeding.