The government has issued an alert on Rift Valley Fever in the coming October rainy season.
The Director of veterinary services Charles Ochodo said the short rains from October to December season constituted an important rainfall season in Kenya.
“It is expected that most parts of the country will experience enhanced rainfall that will also be well distributed both in time and space in the Northeastern, North-western, Western, Central and the Coastal regions of Kenya,” said Ochodo.
Consequently, the director noted that there was bound to be outbreaks of the Rift Valley Fever disease, hence the need for all the County directors of veterinary service to be on high alert.
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He said in order to avoid the recurrence of the March-July of the outbreak of the disease in some countries, county officers were required to place early warning systems on high alert and bring the situation to the attention of the field staff, public health, administration and local community leaders.
“They should also vaccinate in high-risk areas as a preventive measure, step up passive surveillance and all reports of abortion and deaths, especially in young animals should be thoroughly investigated and blood samples sent to Center for Veterinary Laboratory (CVL) Kabete,” said Ochodo in a press release Friday.
Field officers, he added, were also required to carry out weather monitoring activities and the report should capture changes in the level of precipitation and any events of flooding.
“Officers should commence public awareness on diseases reporting, personal hygiene and should discourage bare-hand handling of animal carcasses. In addition, disease control committees should be activated with immediate effect,” he said.
Ochodo added that early detection of the disease is important in order to minimize the effects to both human and livestock and also reduce the cost of controlling the disease.
According to the October, November and December weather outlook provided by the meteorological department, Busia, Vihiga, Kakamega, Bungoma, Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Migori, Nyamira, Kisii, Meru, Embu, and Tharaka Counties would receive enhanced rainfall.
Counties in Central Kenya, North Rift, North Western, Coastal and North Eastern Counties will receive above normal rains.