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Rift Valley Fever Outbreak in Livestock in Kenya, 2006–2007

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  • Kenya Ministry of Livestock Development, Nairobi, Kenya; United States Department of Agriculture, Fort Collins, Colorado; Global Disease Detection Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya; Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, Nairobi, Kenya; National Center for Zoonosis, Vector-borne, and Enteric Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia

We analyzed the extent of livestock involvement in the latest Rift Valley fever (RVF) outbreak in Kenya that started in December 2006 and continued until June 2007. When compared with previous RVF outbreaks in the country, the 2006–07 outbreak was the most extensive in cattle, sheep, goats, and camels affecting thousands of animals in 29 of 69 administrative districts across six of the eight provinces. This contrasted with the distribution of approximately 700 human RVF cases in the country, where over 85% of these cases were located in four districts; Garissa and Ijara districts in Northeastern Province, Baringo district in Rift Valley Province, and Kilifi district in Coast Province. Analysis of livestock and human data suggests that livestock infections occur before virus detection in humans, as supported by clustering of human RVF cases around livestock cases in Baringo district. The highest livestock morbidity and mortality rates were recorded in Garissa and Baringo districts, the same districts that recorded a high number of human cases. The districts that reported RVF in livestock for the first time in 2006/07 included Kitui, Tharaka, Meru South, Meru central, Mwingi, Embu, and Mbeere in Eastern Province, Malindi and Taita taveta in Coast Province, Kirinyaga and Murang'a in Central Province, and Baringo and Samburu in Rift Valley Province, indicating that the disease was occurring in new regions in the country.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to M. Kariuki Njenga, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-Kenya, Unit 64112, APO, AE 09831. E-mail: knjenga@ke.cdc.gov†The two authors contributed equally to this manuscript.

Authors' addresses: Peninah Munyua, Rees M. Murithi, Peter M. Ithondeka, Joseph Macharia, Joseph Musaa, and Jane Githinji, Kenya Ministry of Livestock Development, Nairobi, Kenya, E-mails: munyuap@gmail.com, murithimbabu@yahoo.com, peterithondeka@yahoo.com, jmmacharia@excite.com, jmusaa@yahoo.com, and janejackim@yahoo.com. Sherrilyn Wainwright, United States Department of Agriculture, Fort Collins, CO, E-mail: Sherrilyn.H.Wainwright@aphis.usda.gov. Peter Bloland, National Center for Zoonosis, Vector-borne, and Enteric Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mail: pbb1@cdc.gov. David Mutonga, Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, Nairobi, Kenya, E-mail: davidmutonga@yahoo.com. Allen Hightower, Robert Breiman, and M. Kariuki Njenga, Global Disease Detection Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention–Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya, E-mails: awh1@cdc.gov, rbreiman@ke.cdc.gov, and knjenga@ke.cdc.gov.

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