Level 1 Travel Alert Issued for Rift Valley Fever in Kenya

Rift Valley Fever outbreak in Africa now includes Kenya

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If you are traveling to Kenya, which is located on the central-east coast of Africa the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued a Level 1 Alert regarding an ongoing Rift Valley Fever outbreak.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) for Kenya confirmed on July 4, 2018, a total of 94 human cases of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) have been reported from Wajir (82) and Marsabit (11) counties, including 10 fatalities.

This is a case fatality ratio of 11 percent.

Rift Valley fever is an illness that is primarily spread by direct contact with blood, fluids, or tissues of infected animals such as cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, and camels.

Less commonly, it can also be spread through mosquito bites.

According to the CDC, if think you may have RVF while traveling, see a doctor and do not take pain relievers that contain aspirin or ibuprofen, which may lead to a greater tendency to bleed.

Additionally, the CDC says if you are traveling to Kenya, you should be up to date on routine vaccinations. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, yearly flu shot, as well as a Hepatitis A vaccine.

CDC recommends this vaccine because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Kenya, regardless of where you are eating or staying.

Typhoid is another vaccine that travelers should consider. Typhoid is contracted through contaminated food or water in Kenya.

CDC recommends this vaccine for most travelers, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.

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Moreover, Yellow fever virus is a risk in certain parts of Kenya.

Which means, the CDC recommends the yellow fever vaccine for travelers 9 months of age or older to these areas.

And the government of Kenya requires proof of yellow fever vaccination if you are traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever, which does not include the USA.

For a complete list, see countries with risk of yellow fever virus (YFV) transmission.

If you need to be vaccinated before your trip, you may need to travel some distance since Yellow fever vaccine availability in the USA is currently limited.

To schedule a travel vaccination appointment, please visit Vax-Before-Travel.

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides private sector vaccine prices for general information. And, vaccine discounts can be found here.

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects, says the CDC. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.