Patterns of Rift Valley fever activity in Zambia
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Summary An hypothesis that there was an annual emergence of Rift Valley fever virus in Zambia, during or after the seasonal rains, was examined with the aid of sentinel cattle. Serum samples taken during 1974 and 1978 showed evidence of epizootic Rift Valley fever in Zambia, with more than 80% positive. A sentinel herd exposed from 1982 to 1986 showed that some Rift Valley fever occurred each year. This was usually at a low level, with 3–8% of the susceptible cattle seroconverting. In 1985–6 more than 20% of the animals seroconverted, and this greater activity was associated with vegetational changes - which could be detected by remote-sensing satellite imagery-which have also been associated with greater virus activity in Kenya.