ARUSHA, Tanzania, June 22 (Xinhua) -- The East African Community (EAC) on Friday urged the partner states that are not yet affected by Rift Valley Fever (RVF) to step up surveillance to detect any spread of RVF at an early stage.
Owora Richard Othieno, EAC Head of Department of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, called on member countries to inform the public about the risk and preventive measures.
So far, at least 26 people in two north-eastern counties in Kenya are suspected of having contracted the disease. By June 16, seven of these cases were confirmed and six of the people had died, according to the World Health Organization.
The EAC also urged owners of livestock, people working with wildlife and citizens in the region to be on alert and comply with the following precautionary measures.
"Livestock farmers should contact the veterinary services authorities in the respective partner states for information on vaccinating their animals against RVF and restrict animal movement to limit the spread of RVF," said Othieno.
Rift Valley fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease that is endemic in parts of Africa. It affects both humans and livestock and spreads through infected blood, milk or the bite of infected mosquitoes.