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Phylogenetic analysis of Rift Valley fever virus partial genomic sequences from a patient infected in South Africa in May 2018 suggests reemergence of an endemic lineage different from that of the epidemic in South Africa during 2010–2011. Surveillance during interepidemic periods should be intensified to better predict future epidemics.
Rift Valley fever (RVF) epidemics occur at irregular intervals in Africa, on the Arabian Peninsula, in Madagascar, and on other Indian Ocean islands (1). South Africa has experienced 3 major epidemics during 1950–1951, 1974–1976, and 2008–2011, with smaller sporadic outbreaks in between (2,3). Phylogenetic analyses of isolates spanning 70 years have shown widespread dispersal of RVF virus (RVFV) genotypes throughout the regions where the virus is endemic and a high level of diversity within small geographic areas (4,5). We report the laboratory confirmation of 8 RVF cases in humans in South Africa in 2018 and phylogenetic analysis of the virus responsible for the outbreak.
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