Kenya’s Ministry of Health said on Monday that one person had died from severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) while three others were undergoing treatment after contracting the disease.
The ministry of health said in a statement that samples from suspected cases analyzed at the National Public Health Laboratories confirmed the presence of influenza virus type A/H3N2.
“The three patients who are admitted in Nairobi hospitals are responding well to treatment with one being treated as an outpatient due to mild syndromes,” the ministry said.
According to the ministry, the deceased succumbed to SARI on Friday while undergoing treatment.
However, the ministry confirmed that there is no case of avian flu (type A/H1N1) or Swine flu (type A/H3N2v) in the country.
“The data from Influenza surveillance over the last 10 years in Kenya shows that the influenza viruses circulate throughout the year with peaks of activity from February to April and June to November,” said the ministry.
It advised the public to seek treatment at the nearest health facility if one experiences cold-like symptoms with abrupt or sudden onset of sore throat, fever, headache, muscle-aches and chest discomfort or congestion and cough.
The ministry however cautioned the infected people to limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from spreading the flu germs, cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing.
“Wash your hands often with soap and water, clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu and drink a plenty of warm fluids and keep warm,” it said.
The deceased was diagnosed with flu like symptoms, chest pain and difficulty in breathing before succumbing to the disease.
He was subsequently admitted to the high dependency unit (HDU) with worsening symptoms and got respiratory failure and progressed to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) with diffuse alveolar hemorrhage and passed on July 19.
The deceased had earlier traveled to Watamu at the coastal Kenya and stayed for seven days before returning to Nairobi.
According to the ministry, none of the people the deceased stayed within Watamu has reported being ill but unfortunately two of his relatives in Nairobi are reportedly unwell and are undergoing treatment.
The two who are admitted includes the deceased mother and a medical officer attached to an hospital in Nairobi.
Meanwhile, the ministry has dispatched a rapid response team to undertake field investigation of this public health event and that cases presenting with signs and symptoms of the disease are currently being managed appropriately.