KISUMU, Kenya, Jul 12 – Kisumu County Department of Health is now on high alert following a confirmed anthrax outbreak that has now claimed the life of one person.
A total of 40 people from Nyalunya village in Kisumu East sub-county have so far presented themselves for check up at the Kisumu County Referral Hospital following the outbreak.
County Director of Health, Dr Dickens Onyango, on Friday said four patients are admitted at the facility in an isolated ward.
“I can confirm that four patients are in our wards, under close monitoring by our medics,” he said.
Speaking to journalists at the hospital Onyango however said the situation is under control both from health and veterinary officers in the county.
“I want to assure the public that health officials are on high alert and nobody should panic,” he said.
Onyango said the four are in a stable condition and will be released soon adding that those who came into contact with a dead cow from which the anthrax disease is believed top have originated should present themselves to the nearest hospital.
The Director of Health said a majority of the 40 people who had turned up for checkup had either eaten meat from the animal or participated in its slaughtering.
He said the cow had died mysteriously before the villagers decided to slaughter and share the meat without inspection.
Onyango said the man who lost his life at the facility is among the five people who slaughtered the cow.
He however cautioned general public against eating dead animals adding that slaughtered animals must be inspected first.
Onyango said there are three types of anthrax infections that include the skin, gut and respiratory system adding that the current outbreak is the skin variant.
He said this is as a result of the contact infected persons had with infected meat adding that most of the patients were experiencing fever, body pain and general weakness.
He said the last time a confirmed case of anthrax was reported in Kisumu was in 2015 in Nyakach sub-county and it was controlled.