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Health ministry: rising cases of influenza in the country

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The government through the Ministry of health has asked all the counties and citizens to be on the lookout for influenza virus.

The statement, through the Director of Medical Services at Nanyuki Cottage Hospital, Jackson Kioko, confirmed presence of H1N1 prototype 9 influenza virus.

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“In the last two weeks, we have received reports of an increasing number of patients presented with influenza-like illnesses or severe acute respiratory illnesses in several parts of the country,” said Kioko,

“This strain has been circulating in Kenya since 2009. Since we are within the period when this seasonal peak is expected, there is no cause for alarm,” he reassured.

Influenza death

A five-year old boy was reported to have passed on due to infections with influenza-like symptoms in Nanyuki, Laikipia County during the first outbreaks.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, anyone can contract flu but young children are reportedly in the risk.

Other people in the risk factor are old people above 65 years of age, pregnant women, people with certain chronic diseases like asthma and heart failures.

Infected individuals can easily spread the diseases especially in the first 3-4 days of the illness. Adults are capable of infecting others even just before day 1 after symptoms develop up to around 5-7 days after.

Other complications may also arise due to infections with influenza such as worsening of chronic illnesses, sinus infections, and bacterial pneumonia and in worse cases death.

Prevention from Flu

For better prevention measures one needs to:

  • Have flu vaccination done every year.
  • Stay away from infected people.
  • Covering coughs and sneezes.
  • Washing of hands frequently.

The statement was rolled out to all the sub-counties in order to help contain it as fast as possible.

The government has also called on all the county’s health officials to be on lookout for patients with such symptoms.

By George Ogallo

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