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 Several hospitalised in Murang’a after eating contaminated meat

Several people from five villages in Kahumbu ward within Kigumo constituency in Murang’a are admitted to different hospitals while ithers have been treated and discharged, after feasting on meat from a cow suspected to have died of anthrax.

The owner of the cow, Christopher Ngugi, recounted how he returned home on Wednesday last week to find one of his cows lying in the cowshed exhibiting symptoms of an unknown disease.

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He promptly alerted the local animal health officer to treat the cow and provide guidance on managing the illness.

Ngugi recounted that the officer, aided by villagers, examined the cow and discovered it had ingested polythene papers and pieces of clothing, which obstructed its breathing and led to its death.

Subsequently, numerous farmers flocked to Ngugi’s home to purchase meat from the animal at a reduced rate of sh 400 per kilogram, compared to the usual sh 600 price at local butcheries.

Accompanied by his wife, Margaret Nyambura, Ngugi shared that another cow succumbed to the same mysterious disease the following Wednesday. Animal health officers later confirmed the cow had died from anthrax, coinciding with several individuals who had handled or consumed the meat exhibiting symptoms such as wounds and blisters on their limbs.

During investigations in the affected villages, several residents were identified as victims of the disease. They have since received treatment at Muranga Level Five Hospital, Sabasaba Health Centre, Mugumoini Dispensary, and other medical facilities.

Approximately 150 people purchased the meat for their families, with over 600 individuals suspected to have consumed it, including young children.

Residents are now urging the Murang’a County government to dispatch medical personnel to the affected villages, citing financial constraints preventing many from seeking hospital care.

They also called upon animal health officers from the veterinary department to vaccinate their livestock to prevent further fatalities and contain the disease’s spread.

Additionally, several dogs that consumed meat and bones from the infected cow have perished. Farmers in the affected areas have been cautioned against drinking or selling milk from their animals.

Lydia Mwangi
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