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In Brief: Dengue Fever Outbreak In Kenya

 

Photo: WHO The 'Aedes aegypti' mosquito, which is the carrier of dengue fever (file photo)

Nairobi, 28 September 2011 (IRIN) – An outbreak of dengue fever in the northeastern Kenyan town of Mandera, close to the Somalia and Ethiopia borders, has affected more than 1,000 people, with four unconfirmed deaths, according to the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation and the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to WHO, “Dengue is a mosquito-borne infection that causes a severe flu-like illness, and sometimes a potentially lethal complication called dengue haemorrhagic fever.”

The “attack rate is very high but mortality is very low”, the ministry said in a statement. A permanent river, Dawa, passes through Mandera. Health officials said residents had been complaining of mosquito bites during the day with the bites swelling. “Using bed nets was impractical as the vector was biting during the day,” the ministry said. “The Public Health office has also noted the resistance developed by the vector to insecticides of different varieties (Icon and Deltamethrin mainly).”

Health authorities have alerted all neighbouring districts and public awareness campaigns are ongoing, advising residents to seek early medical attention.

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