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February 21, 2019

Second yellow fever case is suspected

Nairobi Health Executive Bernard Muia and Chief Officer Samson Ochola at a press conference in City hall.Photo/Julius Otieno
Nairobi Health Executive Bernard Muia and Chief Officer Samson Ochola at a press conference in City hall.Photo/Julius Otieno

Just a day after health authorities issued an alert after a 31-year old Kenyan traveler from Luanda died of yellow fever at the Kenyatta National Hospital, a second suspected case has been reported.

Nairobi county health executive Bernard Muia said the suspected case was reported in Nairobi's South C estate. The patient had also traveled from Rwanda.

“He had signs and symptoms associated with the disease. Blood samples have been taken and we are awaiting for the results from the lab,” said Muia.

The patient has been put on quarantine and is currently under the observation of the national and county government's joint disease surveillance team at his home in South C.

"We however allay fears there is a yellow fever outbreak in Nairobi. We are not at a high risk and it's also not an easy disease to get," he reassured.

Nairobi chief officer Samson Ochola said the county has vaccinated 3,800 people, mainly travelers in the last one month and some 7,000 doses of vaccine are in stock.

“We are working closely with the national government to heighten alert on disease surveillance,” he said.

He said the county government has enough stock of the yellow fever vaccine and resources to scale up if need be.

Yellow fever is transmitted through a mosquito bite. Once contracted, the virus incubates is the body for three to six days, followed by illness.

Symptoms include fever, muscle pain with prominent backache, headache, shivers, loss of appetite and vomiting.

In severe cases, patients develop jaundice and bleeding. There is cure for yellow fever and vaccination is recommended.

“We need to clear stagnant water in our surrounding, sleep under treated mosquito nets and change health seeking bahaviour,” said Muia.

He said health officers at entry points should tighten screening to boost prevention.

Some 138 people have died in Angola and about 810 cases confirmed in the country since the virus broke out last December.

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