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Kenya: Kenya Records Yellow Fever Outbreak in Isiolo

Nairobi — Kenya has recorded a yellow fever outbreak in parts of Isiolo with three people having succumbed to the disease.

The Ministry of Health indicated that there are fifteen more people showing symptoms of the disease but are yet to be tested and diagnosed.

A letter from Health Director General Patrick Amoth to Health County Executive across the country showed that the cases were reported in Merti and Grabatulla sub-counties.

The fifteen suspected patients have showed symptoms of fever, jaundice, muscle and joint pain.

"The youngest being eleven years while the oldest being 65 years. While majority are young adults, males are most affected. Sadly, we have recorded three deaths so far. Out of the six samples analysed at KEMRI, three turned positive through serology (Immunoglobulin M) and PCR," Amoth stated.

Wajir, Garissa, Marsabit, Meru, Samburu, Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot and Turkana have been listed as high-risk counties with the Ministry planning to conduct Yellow Fever Vaccination in Isiolo and other high-risk counties.

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"The ministry will also deploy a rapid response team to Isiolo and neighboring counties to establish the magnitude and extent of the outbreak, determine at-risk populations, conduct a risk assessment, initiate risk communication and community engagement activities, and to implement integrated vector control measures," stated Amoth.

He pointed out that there exists no specific anti-viral drug treatment for yellow fever, but the disease is preventable through effective vaccination.

"A single dose of the vaccine is effective to confer sustained immunity and lifelong protection against the disease," he noted.

The first recorded outbreak of yellow fever in Kenya occurred from mid-1992 through March 1993 in the south Kerio Valley, Rift Valley Province.

Yellow fever infection is diagnosed based on laboratory testing, a person's symptoms, and travel history.

Artmotion S.Africa

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