RVF Outbreak Kills 148 in Kenya

by Medindia Content Team on  January 29, 2007 at 5:54 PM Tropical Disease News   - G J E 4
RVF Outbreak Kills 148 in Kenya
Fifty-three more people have died in Kenya in the last week after an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever, bringing the death toll to 148, a government spokesman said on Thursday.

The contagious disease, which first hit parts of Kenya's Northeastern and Coast provinces in mid-December, has now spread to the east African country's central, eastern and Rift Valley provinces.

Kenya has recorded 108 new human infections since last week.

The disease, which is transmitted to humans through mosquito bites or frequent contact with contaminated animals, causes victims to abort, vomit blood or bleed to death.

"We have spent over 100 million Kenya shillings ($1.42 million) so far to provide the necessary medicine. We have vaccinated 2 million cows and quarantined them. We are also distributing mosquito nets," Kenya government spokesman Alfred Mutua told a news conference.

He denied media reports that one case had been detected in Kenya's capital, saying an infected person from one of the affected areas had been admitted at Kenyatta National Hospital.

"There are new cases in Kitui central constituency, Kajiado and Kirinyaga," Mutua said. Health officials at the Kenyan Dadaab refugee camp, a densely populated camp near the border with Somalia, said last week 29 cases, including five deaths, had been reported.

The Kenya government said last week it had spent 100 million Kenya shillings to provide medical care and asked Kenyans to avoid contact with animals, use mosquito nets and exercise basic hygiene.

The World Health Organisation has said a dilapidated infrastructure in the worst hit areas would make treatment difficult and feared the disease would spread quickly.

A similar outbreak in 1997-1998 killed hundreds of people in Kenya.

Source: Bio-Bio Technology

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