The Ministry of Health in Laikipia County has issued an alert after samples taken from patients suffering from flu confirmed presence of A1 H1N1 Prototype 9 Influenza Virus also known as Swine flu.
The samples taken from patients at Nanyuki Teaching and Referral Hospital were confirmed on Tuesday and all health facilities in the region and the neighbouring areas put on alert.
It is also suspected that one child succumbed to the flu last week at the Nanyuki Cottage Hospital as he exhibited signs similar to those associated with the flu but this could not be confirmed immediately.
According to the Laikipia County Director of Health Dr Donald Moghoi the weather patterns that has drastically changed has made cases of flu especially among children to go up.
Dr Moghoi said that in the last two weeks patients have been seeking services with high fever, dry cough, sore throat and general body weakness which are signs of the influenza.
He however said that some cases are mild are treated and patients allowed to go home
Moghoi noted that they suspected the H1N1 prototype 9 virus and took samples to the government public health laboratories and the results were to the affirmative from two of them.
He however noted that there was no need for panic as the hospitals and all health facilities are ready to deal with any eventualities.
The director called on people who have such symptoms to go for medical checkup noting that there was enough medication to control and take care of the patients.
He noted that the disease affects all people across the board but can be severe among children and the aged because of poor immune system.
The hospital he noted is treating up to sixty cases a day adding that because the disease is spread through the air and body contact people should be wary of coughing etiquette, washing hands after greetings among other general cleanliness lookout.
The ministry is also concerned with the spread of the flu in schools and Moghoi confirmed that health officers will be going to the institutions to create awareness among the teachers and also the pupils.
How Do You Catch It?
The same way as the seasonal flu. When people who have it cough or sneeze, they spray tiny drops of the virus into the air. If you come in contact with these drops, touch a surface (like a doorknob or sink) where the drops landed, or touch something an infected person has recently touched, you can catch H1N1 swine flu.
People who have it can spread it one day before they have any symptoms and as many as 7 days after they get sick. Kids can be contagious for as long as 10 days.
Swine Flu Symptoms
They are pretty much the same as seasonal flu. They can include:
- Sore throat
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Body aches
Like the regular flu, swine flu can lead to more serious problems including pneumonia, a lung infection, and other breathing problems. And it can make an illness like diabetes or asthma worse.
If you have symptoms like shortness of breath, severe vomiting, pain in your belly or sides, dizziness, or confusion, seek medical advice right away.