Rift Valley Fever

The Rift Valley Fever is an acute, fever-causing viral disease that affects domestic animals and humans.

Rift Valley Fever
Rift Valley Fever

The experts are calling for an increase in surveillance and more resources towards vaccination of livestock and equipping of staff.

According to the International Livestock Research Institute, the last major outbreak of Rift Valley Fever in Kenya was reported between 2006 to 2007.

The outbreak left 162 people dead while the livestock sector lost a whooping 39 million U.S. dollars, according to a study conducted by the research body and the directorate of health services.

According to the chairman of the Africa Veterinary Technical Association, Benson Ameda, there were fears that cases of the disease could be high due to the flooding.

He expressed his concern over lack of preparedness by the county governments warning that there was need for urgent mitigation measures.

“We are worried that not enough has been done by county governments to address the issue of Rift Valley Fever which spreads very fast during rainy seasons,” he said.

In an interview on Thursday, Ameda said the veterinarians should be equipped with the necessary protective and equipment.

He said that in the last outbreak over 150 people including one veterinarian lost their lives to the deadly disease.

“Though no case has been reported, we should not take chances as the Rift Valley Fever affects both human beings and livestock,” he said.

The director of veterinary services, Dr Kisa Juma, has said that with the current weather condition there is high chance of the occurrence of RFV and other vector borne diseases.

In a memo to all governors and directors of veterinary in counties, Kisa has directed his officers to place the early warning systems on high alert.

The director has ordered the stepping up of surveillance for livestock showing symptoms of RVF at market place and where livestock are congregated.

“Some of the Rift Valley Fever symptoms include sudden onset of abortions, high fever, nasal and ocular discharges in mature animals, vomit and abdominal colic,”

The memo has further directed sub-county officers to report any suspected case of RFV to the headquarters and submit samples immediately for testing.

“Early detection of the disease and response will minimize the impacts of RFV in both human and livestock and reduce the cost of controlling it,” says the memo in part.

Kisa has further directed officers on the ground to commence public awareness activities in high risk areas with special emphasis on reporting suspected cases. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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