Online Workshop of the Animal Virology Working Group

Laboratory Preparedness

May 19th, 2021

Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) and West Nile virus (WNV) are zoonotic arboviruses with great impact in human and animal health. They cause important outbreaks among livestock (ruminants and camels for RVFV)  and horses (for WNV). They can also cause severe disease (and even death) in a percentage of infected humans. 

As part of the capacity building activities developed by MediLabSecure, the animal virology network organized 2 on-line workshops to provide updated information about both viruses. As a matter of fact, they are perfect examples of zoonotic viruses transmitted by vectors that require a One Health approach for outbreak prevention and control. Human epidemics of RVFV and WNV are often preceded by outbreaks in animals. Hence, surveillance of these viruses in animals can act as an early warning system to prevents pill-over to humans. For this reason, it is of paramount importance that the veterinary labs are well prepared to diagnose the disease in animals.

During workshops, animal health experts gave presentations about the current distribution, the epidemiology, the diagnostic techniques and the bio-safety measures that have to be implemented to work safely with RVFV and WNV.

These workshops were also the opportunity to know more details about the main activities developed by the Sahel veterinary labs of the network. Representatives from Niger, Mauritania, Senegal and Burkina Faso shared their experience with the detection of zoonotic arboviruses in animals and vectors.

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