Kenya: Dengue Outbreak - May 2021

Disaster description

According to the county department of health in Mombasa, the first Dengue cases were reported in early March 2021, with 24 cases testing positive out of 47 (51% positivity rate). In April, another 305 cases tested positive out of 315 (97% positivity rate). The adjacent Lamu county has also reported a total of 224 positive cases from different health facilities where 59 are children under 5 years old. Cumulatively, 553 cases have been reported within the past 4 months of January, February, March and April, with a peak of cases in April. No deaths have been reported so far within the two counties. In both counties, cases are on the rise and urgent action needs to be taken to prevent an all-out outbreak which would endanger the lives of the population, causing a health disaster. Public health officials are warning that more cases should be expected as the seasonal ‘long rains’ run through to the end of May, boosting mosquito populations. Previous outbreak data and monthly trends show that annual upsurges are experienced after the short and long rainfall seasons with dual peaks in February and June. The usual trend is that the next peak would occur in June, after the long rains have subdued; however, in this case, the virus is surging at the beginning of the long rains, which will most likely make the situation worse as conditions become more conducive for the mass spread of the disease vector. There is also concern about a new variant of Dengue fever. A specialized team of experts from the Ministry of Health has been deployed in Mombasa county on 4 May 2021 to investigate this new variant of Dengue fever. (IFRC, 17 May 2021)

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