By NewsDesk @bactiman63
Health officials in Isiolo County in central Kenya were alerted in November 2020 to a number of herders who died who presented a number of symptoms to include fever, headache, nosebleeds and vomiting blood, among others.
The Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus was confirmed in mid-December 2020.
As of 22 January 2021, there were four confirmed cases, 17 suspected cases and nine deaths (case fatality ratio 43.0%). All those affected were male, herders, and aged between 13 and 70 years. Two counties are affected by the outbreak, Isiolo and Garissa counties.
The outbreak is currently restricted to the two above counties, but potential movement of livestock and people across borders poses a risk of spread at national and regional levels
Outbreaks in animals had been seen during this time period and surveillance in livestock was initiated. In December 2020, results from the Kabete veterinary laboratory taken from 120 animals showed 19 sheep and one camel to be positive to RVF using IgM capture ELISA.
Kenya has previously experienced outbreaks of RVF, most recently in June 2018 and in November 2014.
Rift Valley Fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic fever that causes illness in animals (such as cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, and camels).
Most people with RVF have either no symptoms or a mild illness with fever, weakness, back pain, and dizziness. A small percentage (8-10%) of people with RVF develop much more severe symptoms, including eye disease, hemorrhage (excessive bleeding), and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). Most people recover within one week. Approximately 1% of people who get RVF die.
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