Rift Valley Fever in Kenya
26 December 2006
As of 21 December 2006, the Ministry of Health, Kenya has reported 12 cases with 11 deaths of Rift Valley Fever in the North Eastern province in Kenya. The areas affected are Korakora, Shanta Abak, Shell Gulliet and Shimbirey, all in close proximity to the capital city Garissa.
Rift Valley Fever Virus (RVFV) has been confirmed by the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in some samples collected from Garissa.
The Ministry of Health, Kenya has sent investigation teams to Garissa and WHO has been requested to support the Ministry of Health in the outbreak response, and to coordinate further international technical assistance. Partners supporting the Ministry of Health and in the field include WHO, UNICEF, FAO, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Médecins sans Frontières- France, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta and a number of nongovernmental organizations.
Social mobilization activities, including targeting health workers, are under way but access to affected areas in Garissa is difficult due to flooding in the area. WHO, with the support of the WHO country office and the WHO Regional Office for Africa, is deploying or supporting the deployment of clinical staff, epidemiologists and logisticians.