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Rift Valley Fever in Kenya

17 Feb 2021

The World Health Organization (WHO) have reported an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever in Kenya. Between 19th November 2020 and 04th February 2021, there have been 32 human cases and 11 deaths reported in Isiolo and Mandera counties.

Rift Valley Fever outbreaks in Kenya are recurrent; the last outbreak was in 2018. WHO is working closely with the Kenyan Ministry of Health in supporting the public health response to the current outbreak.

Advice to Travellers

Rift Valley fever (RVF) is spread through contact with infected animals, and sometimes mosquito bites. It can cause a flu-like illness, meningitis, or liver infection and bleeding, which can be fatal.

RVF is very rare in travellers. There is no commercially available human vaccine against this infection at present.

If you are travelling to an area with a known outbreak of RVF, you should:

  • avoid contact with ruminant animals (such as cattle, sheep, goats, buffalo, deer, elk, giraffes and camels), particularly if slaughter, butchering and birthing is taking place.
  • avoid insect bites (particularly in rural and farming areas) by covering your skin with clothing, using insect repellent on any exposed skin and sleeping under a mosquito net impregnated with insecticide.
  • avoid consuming unpasteurised or uncooked milk or dairy products, raw or undercooked meat, or animal blood products.

See the fitfortravel Rift Valley Fever page for further information.