Govt dispatches experts to control Influenza outbreak

By Brenda Kiprono

You’ve been advised to visit the nearest health facility if your baby has a cough and fever, following an outbreak of Influenza that has killed 39 children under five in Nakuru and Baringo counties.

Health Cabinet secretary Cleopa Mailu says the ministry has dispatched a team of disease control experts to support the county’s response effort.

The ministry of health says that at least 296 cases had been reported as of Monday.

23 of the children who succumbed to the respiratory disease in the past one month were aged between one day and eleven months.

A statement from the ministry states the illness is reported to be mainly affecting children below 5 years, who have fever and a cough that “does not respond to medication” followed by convulsion, coma and death.

Blood samples sent to the National laboratories, has identified the virus as influenza type A and B.

The Ministry of Health has dispatched a team of disease control experts to support the county’s response effort.

Health Cabinet Secretary Dr. Cleopa Mailu is urging parents to take children with fever and cough to hospital immediately.

The ministry is asking Kenyans to exercise hygiene by washing their hands after contacting respiratory secretions.

Parents have also been asked not to be complacent when they notice high temperature in their children.

The disease is spread when droplets from the mouth of an infected person are released during coughing, sneezing or talking to an uninfected person.

It is characterized by sudden onset of high fever, aching muscles, headache and severe sickness, non-productive cough, and sore throat.

In the very young, it can lead to pneumonia and death.

It affects mainly the nose, throat, bronchi and, occasionally, lungs.


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