Health officials in Tana River County confirmed on Friday that one person died while at least 34 others have been treated for diarrhea-related cases at the Kipini Sub County hospital in the last one week.
By last evening, 12 victims of the yet-to-be-established ailment were still admitted at the health facility, according to the County Director of Medical Services(CDMS), Dr. Oscar Endekwa.
Dr. Endekwa said medical personnel had taken samples from the victims but they were yet to establish the actual disease. “Tests will be carried at either Ngao or Malindi Sub County Hospitals where there are better facilities,” he said.
“Some of the victims complained of abdominal pains which are not a cardinal symptom of cholera, but we cannot rule out a cholera outbreak till we establish through medical tests,” Dr. Endekwa told journalists at his office within the Hola County Hospital.
He said the first cases of the disease were reported on January 2, 2016 among fishermen at an island off the Kipini beach town in Tana Delta Sub County.
By Thursday, 35 people had been seen by medical personnel. Most of them were treated and allowed to go home but 12 are still admitted”, he said.
The CDMS said medical personnel had, in addition to taking samples from the victims, taken water samples from area water sources for testing.
He also told those affected to immediately move to the nearest health facility or areas that can be easily reached so as to receive quick treatment, urging them not to move to other areas to avoid spreading the disease further.
Dr. Endekwa said public health personnel had also conducted three barazas in Kipini division with a view to educating the public on the need to adhere to hygienic standards.
He said the dead victim was buried under the supervision of a Public Health Officer and that there were plans to send more medical kits to Kipini to contain the situation.
By Emmanuel Masha