On 4_January, 8 new suspected cases of Rift Valley Fever were discovered by MSF teams in the Ijara District in the North-Eastern Province of Kenya. One of the patients died, taking the death toll to at least 67 since the outbreak began on 7_December.
Rift Valley Fever (RVF) is a viral zoonosis (affects primarily domestic livestock, but can be passed to humans) causing fever. It is spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes. The disease is caused by the RVF virus, a member of the genus Phlebovirus (family Bunyaviridae), and characterized by headache, photophobia, myalgia, and anorexia.
The epidemic has been triggered by extensive flooding in the region. The infected mosquito eggs are often laid around river banks and can lay dormant for years until they get submerged. Once covered with water, the eggs become infected mosquitoes which spread the virus.