NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s veterinary authorities on
Wednesday confirmed that at least six people have been killed
from the Rift Valley Fever (RFV) in Wajir County in northeast
region as the viral disease spreads across the border part.
Obadiah Njagi, Director of Veterinary Services in the State
Department of Livestock, said all the patients died this month
and warned locals against handling meat that has not been
"To date, active surveillance by the Wajir surveillance team
has traced 10 cases, all from the same location (Bashir)," Njagi
said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
RVF is a viral zoonosis that primarily affects animals but
also has the capacity to infect humans. Infection can cause
severe disease in both animals and humans.
Njagi said the flooding which was witnessed in Kenya between
March and May due to heavy rains provided ideal conditions for
mosquito breeding and increased risk of vector borne diseases
He said the first case was reported on June 4 after two
relatives were referred to a local hospital with high fever and
bleeding from the mouth.
Njagi said one of the patients died the same day of their
admission, as situation that has seen the government create a
task force in order to reduce new incidences and prevent more
"It is highly advised that all persons who experience fever
of unknown origin should also report to the nearest health
facility immediately," said Njagi.
Kenya experienced RVF in 2006 that was preceded by heavy
prolonged rainfall and by the time it was managed, 162 people
had died and livestock damages amounted to 38,000 U.S. dollars.
The disease also results in significant economic losses due
to death and abortion among RVF-infected livestock. In 1997-98,
a major outbreak occurred in Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania and in
Njagi said the directorate of veterinary services had
received reports of clusters of animal deaths and abortions in
ships, goats and camels from the veterinary department in Wajir.
"To aid in early detection and response, in the event of an
outbreak, all reports of sudden deaths and abortions of
livestock should be reported to the nearest veterinary office or
any other office," Njagi said.