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County issues alert on possible outbreak of Rift Valley Fever

Nyandarua county government has issued an alert on a possible outbreak of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) in the county.

This follows tests conducted last week at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) laboratory in Nairobi confirming two cases of people who have contracted the zoonotic viral disease.

In a statement issued to the newsrooms, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries County Executive Committee member (CEC), Dr. James Karitu cautioned farmers against handling sick animals without protective gears.

The statement called upon animal health providers to carry out diseases’ surveillance and report cases of abortion in sheep and cattle and also deaths of calves and lambs.

“Due to the recent-declared cases of Rift Valley Fever within Nyandarua County, I would like to advise that since the viral disease affects both animal and human, extra care needs to be taken,” said Dr. Karitu.

“Farmers are advised to avoid milking animals when they have cuts or bruises on their hands, avoid handling difficult calving, placenta or aborted fetuses with bare hands, report cases of abortion and death of young ones to the nearest veterinary office,” read part of the statement.

The CEC urged meat inspectors to ensure that only healthy animals were slaughtered, issue Certificate of Transport to all meat leaving the slaughter house and ensure all the inspected carcasses bore an inspection mark.

Dr. Karitu advised area residents to cook all animal product well, boil milk before drinking and visit a hospital if one has a fever for more than 48 hours.

According to Health Officers, the two cases were reported to be from Rurii village in Ol Kalou sub-county, where the first infections were reported last week.

The victims, according to medics, had symptoms of Rift Valley Fever which included muscle pain, dizziness, weight loss and headache.

Symptoms of Rift Valley Fever in livestock include nasal discharge, excess salivation, loss of appetite, weakness, diarrhea and abortion.

By  Jesse  Mwitwa

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