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Niger: Rift Valley Fever Outbreak - Sep 2016

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The Ministry of Health, which officially declared the outbreak on 20 September, says 23 people have died from the virus and 60 people have been infected. Nearly all of those infected are pastoralists. There are also reports of significant livestock deaths from the virus, particularly cattle, sheep and camels. (IFRC, 23 Sep 2016)

From 2 August to 22 September 2016, 64 human cases including 23 deaths have been reported in Tchintabaraden health district in Tahoua region. The area is mainly populated by nomadic stockbreeders. Most of the cases are male (62.5%), and work as farmers or animal breeders. In the affected area, an epizootic outbreak is also reported among livestock during the same time duration, including deaths and abortions among cattle and small ruminants. (WHO, 29 Sep 2016)

The outbreak occurred in the districts of Tchintabaraden, Tassara and Abalak. All three in the Tahoua region. The majority of the affected population are nomadic pastoralists who have direct contact with blood or organs of the infected animals, or any other body fluid delivered from infected animals(milk). The larval mosquito bites and the blood-sucking flies (blood-feeding) can also transmit the virus. The population at risk are estimated at 124,337 so far. This number might increase due to the fact that the majority of the group at risk (pastoralists) are reluctant to seek medical assistance and are always on the move. Besides the medical assistance, the huge needs are in social mobilization, community awareness sessions, surveillance, detection of cases and referrals of suspected cases. (IFRC, 1 Oct 2016)

With a total of 90 cases and 28 deaths reported between 2 August and 5 October 2016 from Tchintabaraden in Tahoua region, WHO indicates that there is a high risk of spread to neighboring countries given the prevailing security situation, population movement and limited public health infrastructure in the affected areas. (WHO, 5 Oct 2016)

Twelve new cases were registered during the first week of November 2016. (WHO, 7 Nov 2016)