Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a viral illness mainly affecting domesticated animals in Sub-Saharan Africa, including sheep, camels, cattle, goats, and buffalo.

RVF may be acquired through contact with infected animals’ blood, bodily tissues, or fluids or through mosquito bites. The spread of the virus from individual to individual has yet to be established.


Although Rift Valley fever (RVF) sometimes causes severe sickness in animals, most individuals with RVF have no symptoms or a minor illness, including back pain, weakness, fever, and dizziness. However, 8-10 percent of RVF patients experience far more severe symptoms, such as:

  • Hemorrhagic fever. It affects fewer than 1% of RVF patients. Hemorrhaging symptoms may include jaundice and other indicators of liver dysfunction, preceded by vomiting blood, bleeding from the gums and injection sites, or bloody stool. The fatality rate for patients who develop hemorrhagic fever symptoms is roughly 50%, and death generally occurs 3-6 days after symptoms begin.
  • Encephalitis. It may cause seizures, unconsciousness, or headaches. This happens in fewer than 1% of individuals and manifests 1-4 weeks following the onset of symptoms. Although death from encephalitis is uncommon in RVF patients, neurological impairments may be long-lasting and severe.

Eye lesions. It might appear 1-3 weeks after the beginning of early symptoms, with patients experiencing blurred vision. Many patients’ lesions recover within 10-12 weeks; however, roughly half of those with lesions in the macula will have irreversible visual loss.


Because Rift Valley fever (RVF) symptoms are non-specific and varied, clinical identification is sometimes challenging, particularly early in the disease’s course.

Rift Valley fever is hard to distinguish from other viral hemorrhagic fevers and other fever-causing disorders.

Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus infections can only be detected in the lab with the following tests:

  • Virus isolation by cell culture
  • ELISA (IgG and IgM antibody enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay)
  • RT-PCR (reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction) assay


Rift Valley fever (RVF) has no FDA-approved treatments. Because most RVF instances are self-limiting and minor, no particular RVF therapy has been found. Mild disease symptoms such as body pains and fever may be treated with over-the-counter drugs.

Most patients will recover between 2 days to 1 week following the onset of their sickness. More severe instances may need hospitalization and are primarily restricted to supportive treatment.

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