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Leishmaniasis in Kenya (Update 1)

21 May 2019

WHO reports an ongoing outbreak of visceral leishmaniasis in Marsabit and Wajir counties with 576 cases including 13 deaths since the beginning of January 2019 to 21st April 2019.  Marsabit county has reported 426 cases and Wajir county has reported 150 cases.

Advice for Travellers

There is no vaccine against human leishmaniasis.

Travellers to rural and/or forested/jungle areas of regions where the infection is present will be most at risk.

Travellers should be advised to avoid Sandfly bites by:

  • Avoiding outdoor activities after dusk where possible.
  • Covering skin with clothing where possible.
    • Consider permethrin impregnation of clothing when outdoor activity is unavoidable.
  • Using insect repellent e.g. DEET on exposed skin.
  • Sleeping under insecticide-impregnated bednets (fine mesh size is required) or in air-conditioned rooms.
  • Using fans/ventilators which disrupt the movement of sandflies and sleeping elevated from the floor; sandflies are weak fliers.

For more information see Leishmaniasis.