Rift Valley fever

Last reviewed: 6 Jan 2023
Last updated: 18 Oct 2022



History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • presence of risk factors
  • fever ≥37.5°C
More key diagnostic factors

Other diagnostic factors

  • headache
  • myalgia
  • arthralgia
  • weakness
  • backache
  • neck stiffness
  • dizziness
  • chills
  • loss of appetite
  • vomiting
  • photophobia
  • pain behind the eyes
  • vision impairment
  • retinitis
  • meningoencephalitis
  • hepatitis
  • acute kidney injury
  • haemorrhagic fever
Other diagnostic factors

Risk factors

  • livestock handling through occupational exposure or homestead exposure
  • consuming raw animal fluids or tissue
  • genetic polymorphism
  • advanced age
  • mosquito exposure
  • sex
More risk factors

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)
  • serum IgM or IgG detection with ELISA
  • FBC
  • serum electrolytes
  • LFTs
More 1st investigations to order

Investigations to consider

  • coagulation studies
  • serum creatinine and urea
  • creatine phosphokinase (CPK)
More investigations to consider

Treatment algorithm


all patients



A. Desiree LaBeaud, MD, MS

Associate Professor

Pediatric Infectious Diseases

Stanford University

Bechtel Faculty Scholar

Stanford Child Health Research Institute




ADL has a grant from the USDA working on Rift Valley fever in milk research. ADL is the author of several references cited in this topic.

Keli Gerken, DVM

Postdoctoral scholar

Infectious diseases

Stanford University




KG is the in-country lead for Rift Valley fever livestock surveillance studies in Kenya and she is the author of a reference cited in this topic.

Peer reviewers

Anita K. McElroy, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor

Emory University




AKM receives funding for RVFV-related research from Burroughs Wellcome, NIH, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. AKM consults for Regeneron.

Tariq Ahmed Madani, MD, FRCPC


Section of Infectious Diseases and Infection Control & Environmental Health unit

Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Scientific Chair

Faculty of Medicine

King Abdulaziz University


Saudi Arabia


TAM is the author of a reference cited in this topic.

  • Differentials

    • Malaria infection
    • West Nile virus
    • Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever
    More Differentials
  • Guidelines

    • Healthcare workers guidelines on Rift Valley fever (RVF)
    • CDC Yellow Book. Health information for international travel. Travel-related infectious diseases: viral hemorrhagic fevers
    More Guidelines
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