Pre-Trip Information

Country Profile: Kenya

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Health Advisory
Please Note:  Most of the entry below constitutes a generalized health advisory, which a traveler might find useful, regardless of a particular destination.  
As a supplement, however, reader will also find below a list of countries flagged with current health notices and alerts issued  by the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).   Please note that travel to the following countries, based on these 3 levels of  warnings, is ill-advised, or should be undertaken with the utmost precaution:  
Level 3 (highest level of concern; avoid non-essential travel) --
Guinea - Ebola
Liberia - Ebola
Nepal - Eathquake zone
Sierra Leone - Ebola
Level 2 (intermediate level of concern; use utmost caution during travel) --
Cameroon - Polio
Somalia - Polio
Vanuatu  - Tropical Cyclone zone
Throughout Middle East and Arabia Peninsula - MERS ((Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) 
Level 1 (standard level of concern; use practical caution during travel) -
Australia - Ross River disease
Bosnia-Herzegovina - Measles
Brazil - Dengue Fever
Brazil - Malaria
Brazil - Zika  
China -  H7N9  Avian flu
Cuba - Cholera
Egypt - H5N1 Bird flu
Ethiopia - Measles
Germany - Measles
Japan - Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) 
Kyrgyzstan - Measles
Malaysia -Dengue Fever
Mexico - Chikungunya
Mexico - Hepatitis A
Nigeria - Meningitis
Philippines - Measles
Scotland - Mumps
Singapore - Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD)
South Korea - MERS ((Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) 
Throughout Caribbean - Chikungunya
Throughout Central America - Chikungunya
Throughout South America - Chikungunya
Throughout Pacific Islands - Chikungunya
For specific information related to these health notices and alerts please see the CDC's listing available at URL:

Health Information for Travelers to Kenya

Several cases of African trypanosomiasis (African sleeping sickness) have been reported from this region recently, including cases among tourists visiting game parks. For more information and recommendations on trypanosomiasis, see Travelers' Health Information on African Trypanosomiasis (

Also, please check the Outbreaks section for important updates on this region, including information on the recent epidemic of Meningococcal Disease in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (

Food and waterborne diseases are the number one cause of illness in travelers. Travelers' diarrhea can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites, which are found throughout the region and can contaminate food or water. Infections may cause diarrhea and vomiting (E. coli, Salmonella, cholera, and parasites), fever (typhoid fever and toxoplasmosis), or liver damage (hepatitis). Make sure your food and drinking water are safe. (See below.)

Malaria is a preventable infection that can be fatal if left untreated. Prevent infection by taking prescription antimalarial drugs and protecting yourself against mosquito bites (see below). Most travelers to malaria risk areas in this region should take mefloquine to prevent malaria. You can be infected with malaria in all areas of this region except the cities of Addis Ababa, Ismara, and Nairobi, the islands of Reunion and Seychelles, and in highland areas above 2,500 meters. For more detailed information about the risk in specific locations, see Malaria in East Africa (

A certificate of yellow fever vaccine may be required for entry into certain of these countries. For detailed information, see Comprehensive Yellow Fever Vaccination Requirements (

Dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis, trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), and Rift Valley fever are diseases carried by insects that also occur in this region. Protecting yourself against insect bites will help to prevent these diseases.

Schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection, is found in fresh water in the region, including Lake Malawi. Do not swim in fresh water (except in well-chlorinated swimming pools) in these countries. (For more information, please see the Swimming Precautions on the Making Travel Safe page at URL

Because motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury among travelers, walk and drive defensively. Avoid nighttime travel if possible and always use seat belts.

CDC Recommends the Following Vaccines (as Appropriate for Age):
See your doctor at least 4-6 weeks before your trip to allow time for shots to take effect.
• Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG).
• Hepatitis B, if you might be exposed to blood (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, stay longer than 6 months, or be exposed through medical treatment.
• Meningococcal (meningitis) vaccine, if you plan to visit the western half of Ethiopia (see meningitis map at URL from December through June.
• Rabies, if you might be exposed to wild or domestic animals through your work or recreation.
• Typhoid, particularly if you are visiting developing countries in this region.
• Yellow fever, if you travel anywhere outside urban areas.
• As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria, measles, and a one-time dose of polio vaccine for adults. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 11-12 years who did not receive the series as infants.

To Stay Healthy, Do:
• Wash hands often with soap and water.
• Drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes. If this is not possible, make water safer by BOTH filtering through an "absolute 1-micron or less" filter AND adding iodine tablets to the filtered water. "Absolute 1-micron filter" are found in camping/outdoor supply stores.
• Eat only thoroughly cooked food or fruits and vegetables you have peeled yourself. Remember: boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it.
• If you travel to an area where there is risk for malaria, take your malaria prevention medication before, during, and after travel, as directed. (See your doctor for a prescription.)
• Protect yourself from insects by remaining in well-screened areas, using repellents (applied sparingly at 4-hour intervals) and permethrin-impregnated mosquito nets, and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants from dusk through dawn.
• To prevent fungal and parasitic infections, keep feet clean and dry, and do not go barefoot.
• Always use latex condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

To Avoid Getting Sick:
• Don't eat food purchased from street vendors.
• Don't drink beverages with ice.
• Don't eat dairy products unless you know they have been pasteurized.
• Don't share needles with anyone.
• Don't handle animals (especially monkeys, dogs, and cats), to avoid bites and serious diseases (including rabies and plague). (For more information, please see the Animal-Associated Hazards on the Making Travel Safe page.)
• Don't swim in fresh water, including Lake Malawi. Salt water is usually safer. (For more information, please see the Swimming Precautions on the Making Travel Safe page.)

What You Need To Bring with You:
• Long-sleeved shirt and long pants to wear while outside whenever possible, to prevent illnesses carried by insects (e.g., malaria, dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, and onchocerciasis).
• Insect repellent containing DEET (diethylmethyltoluamide), in 30%-35% strength for adults and 6%-10% for children. Unless you are staying in air-conditioned or well-screened housing, purchase a bed net impregnated with the insecticide permethrin. (Bed nets can be purchased in camping or military supply stores.)
• Over-the-counter antidiarrheal medicine to take if you have diarrhea.
• Iodine tablets and water filters to purify water if bottled water is not available. See Do's above for more detailed information about water filters.
• Sunblock, sunglasses, hat.
• Prescription medications: make sure you have enough to last during your trip, as well as a copy of the prescription(s).

After You Return Home:
If you have visited an area where there is risk for malaria, continue taking your malaria medication weekly for 4 weeks after you leave the area.
If you become ill after your trip-even as long as a year after you return-tell your doctor where you have traveled.

For More Information:
Ask your doctor or check the CDC web sites for more information about how to protect yourself against diseases that occur in East Africa, such as:

For information about diseases-

Carried by Insects
Dengue, Malaria, Yellow Fever

Carried in Food or Water
Cholera, Escherichia coli, diarrhea, Hepatitis A, Schistosomiasis, Typhoid Fever

Person-to-Person Contact
Hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS

For more information about these and other diseases, please check the Diseases ( section and the Health Topics A-Z (


Kenya is located in the East Africa health region.


The Center for Disease Control Destinations Website: