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09 Feb 2019 | 03:09 PM UTC

Kenya: Rift Valley Fever outbreak in Murang’a

Outbreak of Rift Valley Fever reported in Murang’a county; at least 12 cases reported as of early February



Health officials have warned of an ongoing Rift Valley Fever outbreak in Murang'a county, with at least 12 cases being reported as of early February. The most affected area is the Gaturi of Kiharu. Further spread of the disease is possible in the near term. 


Rift Valley Fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever that is generally contracted via contact with the carcasses of infected animals, but can also be transmitted through ticks and biting midges. Symptoms generally include hemorrhagic fever, headaches, and muscle pains, while more severe symptoms include loss of sight and brain inflammation, which can cause seizures and headaches. Fatalities occur in less than 1 percent of infected individuals.


Individuals present in affected areas are advised to be extremely vigilant and to take measures to protect themselves from insect bites, e.g. by wearing covering clothing, using insect repellent, and sleeping under mosquito-netting or in an air-conditioned room. Those present in affected areas should also avoid all contact with farm animals. Individuals exhibiting any of the above symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.

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