On Wednesday, March 7, health officials warned of an ongoing outbreak of Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Eastern Lakes State. According to local sources, 32 suspected cases of RVF and four associated deaths were reported in recent weeks.
Health officials are reportedly taking active measures to prevent a larger outbreak of the disease.
Rift Valley fever (RVF) is an animal-borne virus (Phlebovirus) of the Bunyaviridae family. RVF is usually transmitted to people through contact with blood, secretions, organs, or other bodily fluids of infected domesticated and livestock animals (cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, camels, etc.). Transmission can also occur via mosquitoes and other insects. Symptoms include high fever, back pain, and dizziness. When untreated, RVF can lead to severe ocular disease, vision loss, encephalitis, hemorrhagic fever, and even death. There is no vaccine available, and treatment is mostly limited to supportive care.
Individuals in in Eastern Lakes State are advised to take measures against ticks, e.g. by wearing covering clothing and using insect repellent. Avoid close contact with livestock animals or with infected individuals.