Counties asked to boost influenza surveillance after Nanyuki cases

"Influenza's symptoms in children include not drinking and eating enough, fast or difficult breathing and hotness of the body." /COURTESY
"Influenza's symptoms in children include not drinking and eating enough, fast or difficult breathing and hotness of the body." /COURTESY

The government has asked counties to increase influenza surveillance following suspected cases in Nanyuki, Lakipia county.

Jackson Kioko, the Director of Medical Services

at Nanyuki Cottage Hospital, said preliminary tests on patients found the H1N1 prototype 9 influenza virus.

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

The reports, he said, were received

through the Integrated Disease Surveillance System.

“This strain has been circulating in Kenya since 2009, and since we are within the seasonal peak, there should be no cause for alarm but proper surveillance has to be done.”

Kioko noted that influenza management is mainly geared towards resolving symptoms but that it can be complicated in persons under five years and over 60 years of age.

Complications can also arise in people with chronic illness such as diabetes and asthma, pregnant women and those living with HIV.

Influenza's symptoms in children include not drinking and eating enough, fast or difficult breathing and hotness of the body.

In adults, the signs include shortness of breath, pain in pressure on the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness and severe and persistent vomiting.

Persons diagnosed with the disease are advised to stay at home for one day and avoid getting in contact with others people to avoid spreading it.

More than 60 people are said to be infected with Swine flu in Nanyuki and a five-year-old child died while receiving treatment for pneumonia.

Kioko noted that these diseases are well within the Health ministry's surveillance capacity.

The government has also called on clinicians to be wary of the symptoms that patients present with in hospitals.

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