In a follow-up on the Rift Valley fever (RVF) outbreak in Kenya, the outbreak has rapidly increased in the last week, with more cases reported and two new counties affected.

Kenya Image/Alvaro1984 18
Image/Alvaro1984 18

In the past two and one-half weeks, , a cumulative total of 54 cases, with 11 deaths (case fatality rate 20.4%), have been reported from three counties: Wajir (25 cases, 6 deaths), Marsabit (28 cases, 4 deaths) and Siaya (1 case, 1 death).

The RVF outbreak in Kenya, initially detected on 2 June 2018, was confirmed on 6 June 2018 when one out of two samples collected from the initial case-patients tested positive at the Kenya Medical Research Foundation (KEMRI). The Ministry of Health formally declared the outbreak on 8 June 2018.

All the human cases are primarily herders who are epidemiologically linked to suspected RVF livestock cases. For the past two months, the Ministry of Livestock has been reporting high numbers of deaths among animals, as well as abortions in camels and goats in four counties: Marsabit (bordering Ethiopia), Wajir (bordering Ethiopia and Somalia), Kitui (east of Nairobi) and Kadjiado (bordering Tanzania). These areas are known to be endemic for RVF.

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