Date: Fri 19 Jan 2018
Source: WHO [edited]

On [3 Jan 2018], the Ministry of Health of Senegal notified WHO of a case of Rift Valley fever (RVF) reported from a hospital in Dakar. On [29 Dec 2017], a blood sample taken from a 52-year-old Korean man, resident in the Gambia, done at the Institute Pasteur Dakar, was positive for RVF on IgM testing. Previous PCR testing had been negative for RVF and other arboviruses.

The case patient worked for a fishing company in the Gambia and had no known history of handling raw meat. On [5 Dec 2017], the case patient travelled with his brother and 2 colleagues from Banjul, the Gambia, to Ziguinchor, Senegal. On [8 Dec 2017], the case patient continued travelling with his brother, a colleague, and a driver, from Ziguinchor to Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, and continued to Buba the following day. On [10 Dec 2017], the case patient returned from Buba to Bissau, and presented with a dry cough, fever, headache, and joint pain. His brother and the driver also developed a dry cough on [10 Dec 2017], which improved the following day. The group returned to the Gambia (via Ziguinchor) on [12 Dec 2017].

The case patient, however, continued to suffer a persistent cough during this time. On his return to Banjul, he additionally developed fever, headache, and vertigo. He was hospitalized on [20 Dec 2017] and diagnosed with severe malaria. On [23 Dec 2017], he became delirious and developed psychomotor agitation, profuse mucousy diarrhoea, bile-stained vomiting, and haemorrhage. On [25 Dec 2017], he became comatose and was evacuated by ambulance to Dakar. His symptoms improved, and blood samples were taken on 26, 28, and 30 Dec 2017. However, he experienced a recurrence of haemorrhagic symptoms on 31 Dec 2017 and died the same day.

Public health actions
A case investigation was conducted by a multidisciplinary team from the Centre of Health Emergency Operations of the Ministry of Health of Senegal. As part of this investigation, blood samples were collected from the brother of the case and the colleague and driver who accompanied him to Guinea-Bissau. These samples were all negative for RVFV by PCR. The results of the investigation and recommendations for action from the Ministry of Health of Senegal are pending. A case investigation was conducted by a multidisciplinary team from the Epidemic and Disease Control Unit of the Ministry Health of the Gambia. Enhanced RVF surveillance in the animal population and community RVF sensitization have been implemented in the country.

Situation interpretation
Outbreaks of RVF are uncommon in the Gambia and its neighbouring countries. The last documented human case of RVF in the Gambia was reported in 2002. There is currently no indication of risk of a major RVF outbreak in the Gambia, Senegal, or Guinea-Bissau. Heavy rainfall, causing flooding and mass emergence RVF vectors, _Aedes_ and _Culex spp._ mosquitoes, is closely associated with RVF outbreaks. Uncontrolled movement of livestock can increase the risk of spread of the disease to new areas. RVF can cause trade reductions and important economic losses due to high mortality and abortion rates among infected livestock. Integrated control measures that address both human and animal health are therefore necessary (e.g. preventive animal vaccination, vector control, control of animal movements, educational campaigns for populations at risk).
[The case, who travelled in 3 different countries (The Gambia, Senegal, and Bissau) was diagnosed as being affected by malaria. Later, this person and people accompanying him exhibited symptoms that can be attributed to RVF. However, all of the other 3 tested negative, while the case was diagnosed RVF positive on IgM testing and negative on PCR. The situation needs some clarification, especially since it is not the flooding season in the region, which favors the multiplication of disease vector insects and thereby precipitates the appearance of RVF in animals with possible contamination of humans. - ProMED Mod.AB]

[Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus can persist for a long time in some areas, maintained in _Aedes_ vector mosquitoes that deposit eggs in seasonally-flooded areas, where those eggs are transovarially infected with the virus. Adult female mosquitoes coming from infected eggs can transmit the virus during their 1st blood meals. Eradicating the virus from these areas is not possible with current technology.

Although ProMED-mail has not previously posted cases of RVF in the Gambia, there is a report from neighboring Senegal. - ProMED Mod.TY]

[Mauritania, a country in close proximity (neighboring with Senegal to its north) has also experience recurrent outbreaks of RVF (see prior ProMED-mail posts). - ProMED Mod.MPP]

[HealthMap/ProMED-mail map:
Gambia: <>]
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2017 17:03:27 +0100

Dakar, Dec 15, 2017 (AFP) - Flights to and from Dakar's brand-new airport were cancelled on Friday after air traffic controllers went on strike just eight days after it opened.   Controllers announced they would strike for 24 hours from 0001 GMT Friday, Blaise Diagne International Airport's operators, LAS, said in a statement.   The company "deplores the consequences of this movement, which strongly impacts the image of Senegal, as well as the service provided to passengers and airlines", it said.

The air traffic controllers' association, Asecna, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.   President Macky Sall had inaugurated the airport on December 7 in the presence of fellow heads of state from Gabon, Guinea-Bissau and The Gambia. He was due to return to the country on Friday evening after a trip abroad.

The Senegalese press say air traffic controllers are aggrieved over working conditions, especially the problem of getting to the airport which is much farther from the capital than the previous one.   The airport is located in Diass, 47 kilometres (29 miles) southeast of Dakar. Its predecessor,  Leopold Sedar Senghor international airport, now a military airport, is in Dakar's suburbs.
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2017 17:56:52 +0100
By Malick ROKHY BA

Diass, Sénégal, Dec 7, 2017 (AFP) - Senegal's president opened a flagship new airport on Thursday seen as the central plank of government plans to boost the economy and create a west African regional hub.   President Macky Sall toured the brand-new Blaise Diagne International Airport in the town of Diass, 47 kilometres (29 miles) from the capital of Dakar, while the first international flight arrived from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, in the afternoon.   "Senegal is taking flight," Sall declared to an audience of dignitaries on the tarmac including the presidents of Gabon, The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau, while supporters gathered in their thousands to celebrate the opening, banging
drums and chanting slogans outside.

Work began in 2007 on the 645 million-euro ($767 million) airport under former president Abdoulaye Wade, but unforeseen problems and a change of construction company have repeatedly delayed the project and doubled anticipated costs.   Blaise Diagne -- named after the Senegalese MP who was the first African elected to France's parliament -- is at the heart of Sall's "Emerging Senegal" plan, which includes the construction of a new city, Diamniadio, close to the site in Diass.   The airport will be a key test of Senegal's economic fortunes as the president seeks re-election in 2019, and forms part of a suite of plans to relieve the congested capital with a recently constructed conference centre, housing and planned stadium.

As the country invests more heavily in tourism, Senegal is also betting on the facility's strategic position close to several beach resorts that are already heavily frequented by European holidaymakers.   The airport services at the site will contribute to the development of the special economic zone nearby, Sall said. "We need quality infrastructure which facilitates connectivity, creates jobs and contributes to economic transformation," the president explained.   With a capacity of three million passengers, Blaise Diagne will still rank far below the busiest African airports and a long way off challenging Nigeria in the west African region, though plans for up to 10 million travellers are in the pipeline, according to officials.

- Uncertainty for new airline -
Passenger numbers have increased in recent years at Dakar's current airport in the middle of the city, leading to long waits at security and contributing to chronic traffic jams.   The Leopold Sedar Senghor airport will become a military airfield from Friday.

The new airport boasts six footbridges direct to flight cabins, and will be able to service a range of aircraft including Airbus's massive A380s.   Work was completed on the 4,500-hectare site -- with 2,000 hectares unused in case of required expansion -- by Turkish consortium Summa-Limak after a disagreement with Saudi Arabia's Bin Laden construction derailed the final stage of preparations.    Summa-Limak will operate the airport for the next 25 years, furthering ever-closer economic ties between Ankara and Dakar.

A train linking the airport with the city is not expected to open until 2021, leaving taxi drivers in pocket but ordinary travellers nervous of arriving on time for flights in a city with unpredictable traffic.   Backed by loans from France's development agency the African Development Bank (ADB), the West African Development Bank (BOAD) and Islamic lender the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), officials are celebrating the airport's completion -- but the future of Senegal's new airline is less certain.   Air Senegal still does not have all the licences required to begin commercial flights and has a fleet of just two ATR 72-600s, but Aviation Minister Maimouna Ndoye Seck said international ambitions for the airport meant a well-performing national airline was "a necessity".
Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2017 04:41:20 +0100

Saint Louis, Senegal, Nov 16, 2017 (AFP) - The echo of Koranic verse from a religious school in Senegal's Saint-Louis is familiar, but just metres down the beach classes have fallen silent in another building abandoned to the ravages of climate change.   Listed in 2000 as a UNESCO world heritage site, Saint Louis has fallen into disrepair, and without urgent intervention more than 300 years of colonial history could be lost.   Beautifully coloured buildings with colonial facades line the streets of the city, once known as "Africa's Venice", but on closer inspection many are crumbling. Others that look on to the beach succumb to Atlantic waves.

And at the cathedral, large sections of plaster peel from the walls and float to the earth.   "It's dramatic and it could become extremely serious," said French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on a visit Tuesday to what was once the Senegalese capital, and where the first French chartered company set up shop in 1659.   On a thin, sandy strip separating the Senegal River from the ocean, the effects of rising sea levels driven by climate change are clear.    Abdoulaye Mben Khali School was forced to relocate eight year groups to another establishment, Cheikh Ndar, itself just 50 metres away on the seafront and also under threat from the waves, explained Saint Louis governor Mariama Traore.   Meanwhile more than 150 families have lost their homes in recent years, several during the height of the storms of Senegal's rainy season in September.   They are now living in tents near the city's tiny airport.

- Fightback -
Senegalese President Macky Sall left the capital, Dakar, on Tuesday to attend a UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, where developing nations will repeat longstanding calls for the world's biggest economies to respect agreements on lowering greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels.   This week, Syria became the 196th country to formally adopt the hard-fought Paris Agreement, signed in 2016, leaving the United States as the only nation in the UN climate convention to reject it.   The Paris Agreement commits countries to limiting average global warming to under two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over Industrial Revolution levels, and 1.5 C if possible, to avert calamitous climate change-induced storms, drought and sea-level rises.

Away from the corridors of international diplomacy, the World Bank is conducting a study on the city and its battle against climate change at the behest of the Senegalese authorities.   "I hope the conclusion will come through quickly because we must draw up an action plan," France's Le Drian noted as he toured the city's winding alleys.   Meanwhile work is due to begin imminently on a 3.6-kilometre (2.2-mile) long dyke to protect the city's most heavily populated neighbourhoods.   Other symbols of France's colonial past in Senegal, which ended with independence in 1960, have created serious debate.

When a bronze statue of Louis Faidherbe, governor of Senegal between 1854-1861 and then 1863-1865, fell from its pedestal in the town square during September's storms, some said good riddance.   But the Senegalese authorities ultimately decided the statue counted as heritage nonetheless and was therefore to be protected, against the cries of pandering to the preservation of colonialism.   The square where Faidherbe was resurrected was supposed to be renovated to the tune of 24.5 million euros ($29 million) by France's development agency, but despite approval in 2011 work has yet to begin.
Date: Mon 24 Jul 2017
Source: Outbreak News Today [edited]

Health officials have reported on a single case of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) was confirmed in a young, 10-year-old shepherd (caring for 26 head of cattle) in Fatick District, Kamsaté, Senegal. The child developed fever, headache, arthralgia, muscle pain, and vomiting on 29 Jun 2017. Upon presentation to a local clinic on 30 Jun 2017, he was febrile and lethargic with moderate epistaxis (nose bleed). Serial blood samples (the 2nd one collected on 13 July 2017) were tested by the Institut Pasteur Dakar, which revealed an increase in antibodies (IgM and IgG) against the CCHF virus, confirming a recent infection.

The investigation revealed that the possible source of infection was 2 cows purchased from a city market less than 3 months prior to the event. A high prevalence of ticks was observed within the implicated herd, of which samples were collected for testing results pending. Another 15 suspected cases were identified in the community, all of whom tested negative and were excluded. Previous seroprevalence studies have highlighted that CCHF is focally endemic throughout Senegal and neighboring countries. Sporadic human infections may be expected in people with regular contact with livestock in endemic areas, but these are preventable through use of repellents, protective clothing, and gloves to prevent tick bites, and avoiding contact with blood and body fluids of livestock.
[CCHF is endemic in Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East, and Asian countries south of the 50th parallel north -- the geographical limit of the principal tick vector. The hosts of the CCHF virus include a wide range of wild and domestic animals such as cattle, sheep, and goats. Animals become infected by the bite of infected ticks and the virus remains in their bloodstream for about one week after infection, allowing the tick-animal-tick cycle to continue when another tick bites. Although a number of tick genera are capable of becoming infected with CCHF virus, ticks of the genus _Hyalomma_ are the principal vector.

The CCHF virus is transmitted to people either by tick bites or through contact with infected animal blood or tissues during and immediately after slaughter. The majority of cases have occurred in people involved in the livestock industry, such as agricultural workers, slaughterhouse workers and veterinarians. Human-to-human transmission is possible.

In May 2017, Senegal reported 2 cases of CCHF were reported that had been imported from Mauritania with history of exposure to ticks on household livestock. To prevent outbreaks of CCHF, public awareness campaigns aimed at the populations most at risk -- livestock farmers, butchers, and health personnel -- must be conducted, and the epidemiologic alert systems must be strengthened. In addition, conditions that enhance maintenance of the virus in nature and its transmission to humans must be better understood so adequate control measures can be developed. - ProMed Mod.UBA]

[Maps of Senegal can be seen at
and <>. - ProMed Sr.Tech.Ed.MJ]
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