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Rift Valley Fever kills 10 in four counties

A public health worker sprays against
A public health worker sprays against mosquitoes during a past Rift Valley Fever outbreak. FILE PHOTO | NMG  

Rift Valley Fever (RVF) that has spread from Wajir to Isiolo, Meru and Marsabit disease has killed nearly 10 people.

Isiolo veterinary department has closed all slaughterhouses and livestock markets for two weeks following an outbreak. Panic has gripped Isiolo and Meru counties with veterinary officers moving with speed to contain the disease.

It is suspected to have spread from the neighbouring Wajir County where it has killed six people, with 26 cases reported so far. The disease has also hit Marsabit County.

The highly contagious disease is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes or close contact with contaminated animals’ blood or organs, according to the World Health Organisation.

The last outbreak of Rift Valley Fever in Kenya occurred from November 2006 to March 2007 and resulted 234 deaths, according to the WHO.

Isiolo Livestock chief officer, Benjamin Lopetet, has imposed a quarantine on livestock including sheep, goats, camels, sheep and their products.

Mr Lopetet said 106 samples collected from several areas in Isiolo’s three sub-counties (Garbatulla, Merti and Isiolo) were screened and 25 tested positive for RVF.

“We are still receiving more samples from the laboratory," said Mr Lopetet. Isiolo butchers said they would comply with the directive but asked the county to give them information to cut losses.

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