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ANTHRAX SUSPECTED

Two dead after feasting on bad meat in Meru

But health authorities give conflicting information about type of disease and casualties

In Summary

• Meru county public health director Mutabari Inanga says they have ruled out anthrax and there are no confirmed deaths

• But medical officer at Muthara Hospital says in the last week patients have been complaining of swelling and wounds and they suspect anthrax 

Two people have died and several others are hospitalized after a suspected anthrax outbreak in Karama and Muthara wards in Tigania East, Meru.

Medical officer at Muthara Hospital Koome Geoffrey said in the last one week patients have been complaining of swelling and wounds.

Health authorities suspect anthrax because patients have said they ate the meat of a dead animal.

But residents gave contradictory information, saying patients suffer after insect bites leading to swellings.

Florah Kaari said, “It started like a pimple on my face on Friday and then it turned into a wound. I sought medical attention but I came to the hospital again today after the signs persisted. It was an insect bite."

Kaari said a woman died at Urru and two children are in hospital.

Resident Nkui Karuti said her two relatives have been infected and attributed the disease to an insect bite.

Koome said three patients are admitted at Muthara hospital.

“Veterinary and public health officers are on the ground to establish the areas affected and inform the public the disease is transmitted when they eat infected animals," he said.

The doctor advised residents to avoid eating meat that is not inspected or of dead animals.

But Meru county public health director Mutabari Inanga gave a contradicting report, saying they have ruled out anthrax and there are no confirmed deaths.

“We are on the ground to ascertain what may be the cause but up to now the suspicion is of insect bite but we are trying the find out the actual insect," he said.

Samples collected from patients have been taken to Kemri in Nairobi for tests.