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WSU launches Center for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases in Kenya

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Photo credit: Laura Lockard, CREID

Diagnostic testing and vaccines for diseases in Eastern and Central Africa are in development at the new Center for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases (CREID) in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Global Health Kenya program, launched by Washington State University’s (WSU’s) Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, aims to help 13 countries and is currently conducting studies in four. Kariuki Njenga, director of the center is to target an outbreak before it happens.

“We should be at the front line, making sure we prove a quick and rapid diagnosis of what the problem could be,” said Njenga.

Fevers are one symptom among many that appear from unknown infections. CREID researchers will be working with healthcare providers to identify diseases in patients.

“You don’t build trust with a community during an outbreak, said Guy Palmer, Senior Director of WSU Global Health and regents professor of pathology and infectious diseases.

“You build it before, by working with them.”

Researchers at CREID are studying MERS-CoV, Rift Valley fever, and epidemics to understand existing pathogens in the region. The center also works with 10 other centers around the world to coordinate efforts and monitor other diseases.

“What we are doing is perhaps the best efforts to prevent the next COVID,” said Njenga.

“It is circulating and lurking in the vines, and that’s where we are working.”

 

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