In a concerning turn of events, an unknown disease has struck the western region of Kenya, resulting in four fatalities and the hospitalization of 672 individuals. The outbreak initially surfaced at Mukumu Girls’ and Butere Boys’ High School in Kakamega county, prompting widespread alarm among the populace.
The Ministry of Health has taken swift action, deploying a team of investigators from the national level to assist the county government in determining the cause and scope of the outbreak. “The disease presents with fever, abdominal pain/cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea,” explained acting Director General for Health, Patrick Amoth. He added that while comprehensive investigations are ongoing, available data suggests that the outbreak began on March 1, 2023.
As of April 14, 627 patients have fallen ill, with 19 students admitted to various health facilities across the country. Fortunately, all currently hospitalized students are reported to be in stable condition. Nevertheless, four individuals have lost their lives to this mysterious illness, prompting heartfelt condolences from the Ministry of Health to the grieving families.
The government is urging citizens to maintain high levels of personal hygiene by washing hands with soap and running water, treating or boiling water for drinking and cooking, using toilets for proper waste disposal, and thoroughly cooking food. The public is also advised to remain vigilant and promptly seek treatment at the nearest healthcare facility if they experience symptoms such as fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or vomiting.
In a related development, Khasoko Boys’ High School in Bumula, Bungoma county, has been temporarily closed due to a bacterial infection. This closure follows the death of a student who was receiving treatment at Bungoma County Referral Hospital.