Introducing English and Swahili instructional videos on the patterns, signs, symptoms and control of Rift Valley fever

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As reported in the Daily Nation yesterday (24 Jun 2018), the toll of human deaths due to an outbreak of Rift Valley fever has risen to 26 in the past month. The Kenya Ministry of Health has provided 500,000 doses of Rift Valley fever vaccine to high-risk counties, including Tharaka-Nithi, Garissa, Tana River, Lamu, Garissa, Kajiado and Baringo.

The disease, which is mostly affecting young men, was first reported in Wajir County, with a sample sent to Kenya Medical Research Institute testing positive for the virus on 7 Jun 2018. The ministry has formed a team of experts to provide technical guidance to the affected counties, which occur largely in Kenya’s nomadic, hard-to-reach and insecurity-prone dryland regions, making it difficult to contain the disease.

Rift Valley fever is a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes that mainly affects livestock, in which it causes abortions, but people are also at risk of infection as a result of handling infected animals—either slaughtering them or assisting animals giving birth.

Residents of the affected countries are advised to use mosquito nets, to report cases of sick animals, and not to directly handle sick cattle or sheep or to slaughter them without consulting veterinary or public health officers.

Read the whole article by Angela Oketch: Ministry races to curb Rift Valley fever as death toll hits 26, Daily Nation, 24 Jun 2018.

As reported by Bernard Bett, a scientist with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), more suspected cases of Rift Valley fever in livestock were observed in several areas in the country where heavy rainfall and flooding occurred between March and June this year. During the same period, suspected cases of the disease were reported in livestock in Rwanda (Kayonza, Ngoma and Kirehe districts). And in March of this year, South Sudan experienced similar outbreaks in the Yirol East, Yirol West and Awerial counties of Eastern Lakes State. . . .

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