More deaths as Rift Valley Fever takes toll in Northern Kenya

The death toll from the Rift Valley fever sweeping across north-eastern Kenya has risen to five.

This is after a toddler died in Eldas sub-county yesterday.

According to reports from the county health department, seven other patients are admitted in various hospitals.

The dead are said to have eaten suspected infected meat in Wajir last Thursday. Sample tests carried out by veterinary officers were positive.

SEE ALSO :Gunfire, threats, curfews slow Congo's fight against Ebola

Yesterday, Health Executive Abdihakim Billow said the county government had put in place several measures to curb the spread of the disease, including banning the consumption of meat and milk for the next nine days.

The health department on Sunday met with meat traders to inform them about the Rift Valley fever outbreak and the resulting ban on meat products, as well as to seek their support to prevent further spread of the deadly viral disease.

Animal products

However, residents objected to the county government's ban saying they depended solely on animal products and could not live without them.

"We largely depend on meat and milk and we cannot stay away from them," said Abdi Bishar, a butcher and resident of Bulla Halane.

SEE ALSO :Referral hospital in Rift hit by blood shortage

A task force bringing together officials from the county and national governments was yesterday set up and dispatched to the affected areas to help control the spread of the disease.

Speaking to The Standard in Marsabit town yesterday, after issuing an alert and dispatching surveillance teams to the border sub-counties of North Horr, Laisamis and Moyale, Chief Officer for Health Jaldesa Dima urged residents to be vigilant to avoid spreading the disease.

The official urged pastoralists in Marsabit not to graze their animals along the border to reduce chances of infection.

rift valley feveroutbreakRift Valley