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Monday 21st May 2018

Kenya fights Rift Valley Fever

10th January 2007

Kenyan researchers have launched a fast-track investigation into an outbreak Rift Valley Fever (RVF) in the remote northeastern part of the country.

Scientists have already shifted a mobile biosafety lab to the region, where 61 people have already died from the haemorrhagic viral fever which attacks herdsmen and their livestock.

Public health officials appear to be showing a higher degree of transparency in reporting the outbreak than in previous outbreaks.

Rapid response systems were set up following the last RVF outbreak of 1997-1998, in which as many as 200 people are now confirmed to have died, and blood samples were quickly tested to confirm the presence of the virus this time.

Kenyan and American researchers are particularly keen to find out why only 20% of people who contract the virus get sick, and why half of those who get sick will die.

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