Cross-sectional survey of Rift Valley fever virus exposure in Bodhei village located in a transitional coastal forest habitat in Lamu county, Kenya
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Few studies have focused on Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) transmission in less arid, transitional landscapes surrounding known high-risk regions. The objective of this study was to identify evidence of RVFV exposure in Bodhei Village in a forested area at the edge of the RVFV-epidemic Garissa region. In a household cluster-based survey conducted between epidemics in early 2006, 211 participants were enrolled. Overall seroprevalence for anti-RVFV was high (18%) and comparable with rates in the more arid, dense brush regions farther north. Seroprevalence of adults was 28%, whereas that of children was significantly lower (3%; P < 0.001); the youngest positive child was age 3 years. Males were more likely to be seropositive than females (25% versus 11%; P < 0.01), and animal husbandry activities (birthing, sheltering, and butchering) were strongly associated with seropositivity. The results confirm that significant RVFV transmission occurs outside of recognized high-risk areas and independent of known epidemic periods.