In malaria-endemic regions, many medical facilities have limited capacity to diagnose non-malarial etiologies of acute febrile illness (AFI). As a result, the etiology of AFI is seldom determined, although AFI remains a major cause of morbidity in developing countries. An outbreak of AFI was reported in the Afar region of Ethiopia in August of 2011. Retrospectively, 12,816 suspected AFI cases were identified by review of medical records. Symptoms were mild and self-limiting within 3 days after the date of onset; no fatalities were identified. All initial test results of AFI patient specimens were negative for selected pathogens using standard microbiological and molecular techniques. High-throughput sequencing of nucleic acid extracts of serum specimens from 29 AFI cases identified 17 (59%) of 29 samples as positive for Sandfly Fever Sicilian Virus (SFSV). These results were further confirmed by specific reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. This is the first study implicating SFSV as an etiological agent for AFI in Ethiopia.