An outbreak of the novel West Nile virus has hit the northern part of the Nile Delta in the northern state of West Nile, causing at least 25 deaths, officials said on Saturday.
In a statement, the provincial government of North West Nairobi said the West Nile disease outbreak has been spreading rapidly in the area of the city of Nairobs and in nearby areas.
“A number of individuals have been identified, and there are currently no reports of the disease being contained or affecting any of the communities in the affected areas,” the statement said.
It added that the disease had now been detected in the city and the neighbouring towns of Bumbura and Gugumu.
“The West Nile epidemic is spreading rapidly across the northern Nile Delta region, with the outbreak in Nairobari and Gumbu in the southern part of that region having occurred just recently,” it said.
“It has spread to areas of the Delta where people have not previously been exposed to it.”
There have been more than 100 reported cases in West Nere, with around 20 deaths reported so far.
Officials said the deaths could rise because of the risk of spread of the virus, which is transmitted by direct contact with infected mosquitoes.
In January, a number of people in the Nile delta were infected with the virus.
The West Nire region, home to some of Africa’s richest people, is the largest producer of Nile water and is the second most populous region in Africa after South Africa.
The government has vowed to combat the spread of West Nile, which causes a severe respiratory illness that can kill up to 90 per cent of its victims.