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November 21, 2018

Quarantine in Kilifi amid Rift Valley Fever outbreak

Kilifi county Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries County Executive Commitee Member Lucian Sanzua during a press briefing at the Governor's office on Wednesday
Kilifi county Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries County Executive Commitee Member Lucian Sanzua during a press briefing at the Governor's office on Wednesday

The county government of Kilifi has issued a quarantine against the movement of livestock in Magarini and Malindi sub counties following cases of Rift Valley Fever.

County executive committee member for agriculture, livestock and fisheries Luciana Sanzua on Wednesday confirmed that 16 goats and 2 cattle have died of Rift Valley Fever.

Speaking at the governor’s office, Sanzua also confirmed that 17 abattoirs and 4 slaughter slabs have been shut down in the two sub counties.

“There were reported cases of abortions in animals in two private farms and two homesteads in the two sub counties. Abortions in animals is the main clinical sign of Rift valley Fever in animals thus these were handled as suspected cases. Blood samples were taken from the animals and submitted to the Central Veterinary Laboratory-Kabete-Nairobi. This was on 12/July/2018. We received the results on 30th July and 18 out of the 78 samples turned positive,” said Sanzua.

She said the spread was as a result of the heavy rains and subsequent flooding in the two sub counties. 

The department has since embarked on the spraying of animal with acaricide (chemical) which kills the type of mosquito which breeds in flooded areas and is the type responsible for incubation and starting off of the chain of transmission.

“We imposed the quarantine last week to avoid the spread of the disease to other areas. We have also restricted the movement of livestock from Tana River and Garissa counties to our county. Our surveillance team is on the ground and we urged members of the public to keep off red meat for the time being,” added Sanzua.

The department of health has also closed down butcheries in the two sub counties.

On Wednesday, Health county executive committee member Anisa Omar said no cases of human infection have been reported in the county.

She said all health workers have been put on a 24 hour surveillance.

“All our medical officers in our helath facilties have been instructed to screen anyone who may present with symptoms of Rift Valley Fever. We also urge members of public to sleep in mosquito treated nets to keep of the vector,” she said

According to the World Health Organization, there is some evidence that humans may become infected with RVF by ingesting the unpasteurized or uncooked milk of infected animals.

The majority of human infections result from direct or indirect contact with the blood or organs of infected animals.

The virus can be transmitted to humans through the handling of animal tissue during slaughtering or butchering, assisting with animal births, conducting veterinary procedures, or from the disposal of carcasses or foetuses.

Certain occupational groups such as herders, farmers, slaughterhouse workers, and veterinarians are therefore at higher risk of infection.


The virus infects humans through inoculation, for example via a wound from an infected knife or through contact with broken skin, or through inhalation of aerosols produced during the slaughter of infected animals.




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