HEALTH SCARE

Health Ministry investigating swine flu rumour - official

The disease affects people of all ages but it is more severe among children.

In Summary

• In March last year, a child died while more than 60 people were infected with H1N1 prototype 9 influenza virus following an outbreak in Nanyuki.

• Some of the signs of H1N1 infection are a dry cough, sore throat, high fever, red eyes, and general body weakness.

Symptoms of influenza, with fever and cough the most common symptoms.
Symptoms of influenza, with fever and cough the most common symptoms.
Image: COURTESY

The Health Ministry is investigating reports that a case of Swine flu had been reported in one of the local hospitals.

On Saturday it was alleged that one person had died of a suspected swine flu infection at MP Shah Hospital.

“We also got the rumour and we sent a team to investigate the matter. The results will be out hopefully tomorrow,” a ministry official told the Star on the phone.

 
 

The hospital management has since refuted the claims.

The disease affects people of all ages but it is more severe among children and the elderly and those with low immunity.

The disease is spread through the air.

Some of the signs of H1N1 infection are a dry cough, sore throat, high fever, red eyes, and general body weakness.

In March last year, a child died while more than 60 people were infected with H1N1 prototype 9 influenza virus following an outbreak in Nanyuki.

The county health officers attributed the outbreak to weather changes occasioned by the rains that were being experienced in the area.

According to WHO, the disease occurs all over the world, with an annual global attack rate estimated at 5–10 per cent in adults and 20–30 per cent in children.

 
 

Respiratory transmission occurs mainly by droplets disseminated by unprotected coughs and sneezes.

Short-distance airborne transmission of influenza viruses may occur, particularly in crowded enclosed spaces. Hand contamination and direct inoculation of virus is another possible source of transmission.

The WHO advises that whenever possible, people should avoid crowded enclosed spaces and close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections.

“Frequent hand-washing, especially after direct contact with ill persons or their environment, may reduce the risk of acquiring illness,” WHO recommends.

In addition, people should be encouraged to practice cough etiquette such as maintaining distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, wash hands.


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