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Rift Valley fever outbreak toll rises to 24 in northern Kenya

Viral Update: Africa
Photo: Children play close to flood waters as makeshift shelters are put up near the edge of a flooded section of Tana River districts, about 500 kms southeast of Nairobi, 21 December 2006.

December, 2006
NAIROBI (AFP) - An outbreak of Rift Valley fever has killed at least 24 people in northeastern Kenya in the past two weeks, officials said, as medics were rushed to the region to contain the situation.
Medical officials said the disease has killed six more people in the region, increasing the toll from 18 to 24.
"We must work to ensure the disease does not spread any further than it has," provincial medical chief Omar Ahmed said.
The disease -- whose symptoms are fever, abdominal pain and vomiting of blood -- is usually associated with mosquito-borne epidemics during years of unusually heavy rainfall or flooding, as has been the case recently in northern Kenya.
It is transmitted through livestock infected by drinking contaminated water, experts said.

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