East Coast Fever (ECF) is a serious, often fatal disease that affects cattle. Mortality can be up to 100%, with death occurring around 18–30 days after the initial attachment of infected ticks. This is because the incubation of the disease requires around 10–25 days in which the parasite spreads quickly and aggressively!

Red Tick

Some of symptoms include high fever, swelling of the lymph nodes, production of tears, discharge from the nostrils, difficulty in breathing and salivation. Without appropriate and early treatment infected cattle go on to develop cloudy eyes and bloody diarrhea, loss of electrolytes and eventually the cow will die.

It kills s up to a million cattle per year in Kenya and causes economic losses estimated at Kenya shillings 20 billion per year.

Throughout eastern, central and southern Africa, ECF threatens the lives of more than 26 million cattle and kills several million cattle each year. The threat of the disease severely limits the development of the Dairy sector, discouraging farmers from keeping the high milk-yielding cattle on which the sector depends.

It is very alarming that every one minute a farmer somewhere in Kenya losses cow to ECF. East Coast Fever is considered as the biggest killer disease in Kenya.

ECF– being a threat to cattle industry, farmers are encouraged to practice appropriate measures such as tick control using acaricides which can be applied in dipping, spray races or by the use of suitable pumps every week to kill the ticks. This has always been the preferred method for many years until a vaccine was developed. And has become a blessing to the many farmers that face the challenges of ECF

The vaccine has two components: live ECF parasites at protozoite stage of the parasites life-cycle (are stored in liquid nitrogen) and a dose of long acting antibiotic (oxytetracycline) are simultaneously administered. Only trained vets are to administer the vaccine.

Vaccination Syringe

For your cattle to qualify for a vaccination;

-The cattle should be more than one month old

-The cow should be less than 8 months in-calf.

-The cow should be in good health.

-The cow should not be in any medication.

Some of the benefits farmers enjoy after applying ECF Vaccination is reduced operating costs as acaricide are used less frequent than before. The mortality rate is reduced by 30- 80% saving the farmer unexpected loss of revenue due to ECF.

It is recommended that after vaccination, tick-control should be carried out but less frequently to control other tick-borne diseases.

Cost of vaccination per cow ranges KES 800 –  KES 1200

Kenya Dairy Farmers Federation (KDFF) is a government approved distributor of ECF vaccine and immunizer across the country.

Neighbouring farmers, Dairy organizations or individual farmers can organize themselves to make 42 cows (A batch) and call KDFF staff on the following numbers for vaccination.


0711 711 905

0723 716 814

0721 270 798

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Comments (2)

  • justine October 5, 2016 Reply

    give out the name of the latest E.C.F vassine

  • justine October 5, 2016 Reply

    also give out the price this is a serious disease in my county

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