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Epidemiologic and Clinical Aspects of a Rift Valley Fever Outbreak in Humans in Tanzania, 2007

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  • Tanzania Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Department of Preventive Services, Viral and Rickettsial Diseases and Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; National Institute for Communicable Diseases of the National Health Laboratory Service, Sandrigham, South Africa; Global Disease Detection Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya

In January 2007, an outbreak of Rift Valley fever (RVF) was detected among humans in northern Tanzania districts. By the end of the outbreak in June, 2007, 511 suspect RVF cases had been recorded from 10 of the 21 regions of Tanzania, with laboratory confirmation of 186 cases and another 123 probable cases. All confirmed RVF cases were located in the north-central and southern regions of the country, with an eventual fatality rate of 28.2% (N = 144). All suspected cases had fever; 89% had encephalopathy, 10% hemorrhage, and 3% retinopathy. A total of 169 (55%) of the 309 confirmed or probable cases were also positive for malaria as detected by peripheral blood smear. In a cohort of 20 RVF cases with known outcome that were also positive for human immunodeficiency virus, 15 (75%) died. Contact with sick animals and animal products, including blood, meat, and milk, were identified as major risk factors of acquiring RVF.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to M. Kariuki Njenga, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-Kenya, Unit 8900, Box 6610, DPO AE 09831-6610. E-mail: knjenga@ke.cdc.gov†F. Mosha and M. Mohamed contributed equally to the development of this manuscript.

Authors' addresses: Mohamed Mohamed, Fausta Mosha, Janeth Mghamba, Peter Mmbuji, and Raphael Kalinga, Tanzania Ministry of Health and Social Work, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, E-mails: mahd67@yahoo.com, Fausta_mosha@yahoo.com, mashaka_2000@yahoo.com, pmmbuji@yahoo.com, and rkalinga@yahoo.com. Sherif R. Zaki and Wun-Ju Shieh, Infectious Disease Pathology Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mails: sxl@cdc.gov and wbs9@cdc.gov. Sylvia Omulo, Solomon Gikundi, Robert F. Breiman, and M. Kariuki Njenga, Global Disease Detection Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention–Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya, E-mails: somulo@ke.cdc.gov, sgikundi@ke.cdc.gov, rbreiman@ke.cdc.gov, and knjenga@ke.cdc.gov. Peter Bloland, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mail: pbb1@cdc.gov. Nordin Zeidner, National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-borne, and Enteric Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mail: naz2@cdc.gov.

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