Risk of sleeping sickness (African trypanosomiasis) in Kenya

Travellers to rural areas in Kenya should be aware that 38 out of 47 counties are infested with the tsetse fly that transmits sleeping sickness (African trypanosomiasis). These counties are mostly located in the Lake Victoria Basin region. People engaged in agriculture, fishing, animal husbandry and hunting are at higher risk of being bitten by the tsetse fly.

This infection occurs in Kenya's Nyanza and Western Province areas.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Sleeping Sickness (Type 2).

Advice For Travellers

There is no vaccine or medicine that prevents African trypanosomiasis. Travelers can protect themselves by preventing tsetse fly bites. Wearing clothing that covers exposed skin, e.g., long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats, will help prevent bites. Although there is limited evidence that insect repellent works against tsetse flies, it is still recommended. Stay and sleep in screened or air conditioned rooms.

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