A person’s chances of becoming infected can be reduced by taking measures to decrease contact with blood, body fluids, or tissues of infected animals and protecting themselves against mosquitoes and other bloodsucking insects. Use of mosquito repellents and bednets are two effective methods. For persons working with animals in RVF-endemic areas, wearing protective equipment to avoid any exposure to blood or tissues of animals that may potentially be infected is an important protective measure.
A number of questions and challenges remain in the control and prevention of RVF. Knowledge regarding virus maintenance and transmission within different mosquito species and the risk factors associated with severe cases of RVF in humans are still under investigation. Potentially, establishing environmental monitoring and case surveillance systems may aid in the prediction and control of future RVF outbreaks.
No vaccines are currently available for human vaccination.
Different types of vaccines for veterinary use are available. The killed vaccines are not practical in routine animal field vaccination because of the need of multiple injections. Live vaccines require a single injection but are known to cause birth defects and abortions in sheep and induce only low-level protection in cattle. The live-attenuated vaccine, MP-12, has demonstrated promising results in laboratory trials in domesticated animals, but more research is needed before the vaccine can be used in the field. The live-attenuated clone 13 vaccine was recently registered and used in South Africa. Alternative vaccines using molecular recombinant constructs are in development and show promising results.
In addition, surveillance (close monitoring for RVF infection in animal and human populations) is essential to learning more about how RVF virus infection is transmitted and to formulate effective measures for reducing the number of infections.