|Description:||This 2000 photograph was captured during an epidemiologic investigation in Saudi Arabia that had been initiated as a response to a Rift Valley fever (RVF) outbreak in the region. These goats were penned in a village that was within the geographic parameters of the investigation.|
The importance of these domesticated farm animals, lies in the fact that RVF is an acute, fever-causing viral disease that affects domestic animals such as cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, and camels, and transmission to humans can occur if humans are exposed to either the blood or other bodily fluids of infected animals. Humans can also be infected through the bite of a viral-carrying mosquito, usually of the genus Aedes. Therefore, RVF is most commonly associated with mosquito-borne epidemics during years when there is unusually heavy rainfall.
The RVF virus is a member of the genus Phlebovirus in the family Bunyaviridae. The disease was first reported among livestock by veterinary officers in Kenya in the early 1900s.