Rift Valley Fever in Egypt and other African countries: historical review, recent outbreaks and possibility of disease occurrence in Egypt.
This article reviews and discusses the historical and recent status of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) in Egypt and the other African countries based on the available and scattered reports. The recent outbreaks in African countries were reviewed and mapped out. Four major epidemics have been recorded in Egypt (1977, 1978, 1993 and 2003). The outbreak resulted in unpredicted human disease with severe clinical manifestations and heavy mortality as well as many abortions and deaths in sheep, goats, cattle, water buffalo and camels. Of the 18 culicine mosquito species that occur in Egypt, Culex pipiens and Cx. antennatus were implicated as vectors of RVF in Egypt based on their natural infection with RVF virus. Aedes caspius was also suspected of disseminating the virus among livestock based on host feeding and vector competence studies. The epidemiological factors related to the introduction and spread of RVF in Egypt are discussed. The study concluded that due to the availability and abundance of the potential vectors, suitability of environmental conditions, continuous importation of livestock's from Sudan, and the close association of susceptible domestic animals with humans, the RVF virus could possibly occur and circulate in Egypt.