Rift Valley Fever – assessment of effectiveness of surveillance and control measures in the EU
Effectiveness of surveillance and control measures against Rift Valley Fever (RVF) in Mayotte (overseas France) and in continental EU were assessed using mathematical models. Surveillance for early detection of RVF virus circulation implies very low design prevalence values and thus sampling a high number of animals, so feasibility issues may rise. Passive surveillance based on notified abortions in ruminants is key for early warning and at present the only feasible surveillance option. The assessment of vaccination and culling against RVF in Mayotte suggests that vaccination is more effective when quickly implemented throughout the population, e.g. at a rate of 200 or 2,000 animals vaccinated per day. Test and cull is not an option for RVF control in Mayotte given the high number of animals that would need to be tested. If the risk of RVFV introduction into the continental EU increases, ruminant establishments close to possible points of disease incursion should be included in the surveillance. An enhanced surveillance on reproductive disorders should be applied during summer in risk areas. Serosurveillance targets of 0.3% animals should be at least considered. RVF control measures possibly applied in the continental EU have been assessed in the Netherlands, as an example. Culling animals on farms within a 20 km radius of detected farms appears as the most effective measure to control RVF spread, although too many animals should be culled. Alternative measures are vaccination in a 50 km radius around detection, ring vaccination between 20 and 50 km and culling of detected farms. The assessment of zoning showed that, following RVFV introduction and considering an R0 = 2, a mean vector dispersal of 10 km and 10 farms initially detected, RVFV would spread beyond a radius of up to 100 km or 50 km from the infected area with 10% or 55% probability, respectively.