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Leishmaniasis in Kenya (Update 2)

20 Aug 2019

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that there have been 1 986 cases of leishmaniasis, from week 1 to week 31 in 2019. Marsabit county has reported 1 716 suspected cases with 19 deaths. Wajir County has reported 261 suspected cases with 7 deaths. Since 29 June 2019, Garissa County has reported 9 confirmed cases with 1 death.

Advice for Travellers

There is no vaccine against human leishmaniasis.

Travellers to rural and/or forested/jungle areas of regions where the infection is present will be most at risk.

Travellers should be advised to avoid Sandfly bites by:

  • Avoiding outdoor activities after dusk where possible.
  • Covering skin with clothing where possible.
    • Consider permethrin impregnation of clothing when outdoor activity is unavoidable.
  • Using insect repellent e.g. DEET on exposed skin.
  • Sleeping under insecticide-impregnated bednets (fine mesh size is required) or in air-conditioned rooms.
  • Using fans/ventilators which disrupt the movement of sandflies and sleeping elevated from the floor; sandflies are weak fliers.

For more information see Leishmaniasis.