Six people suspected to be infected with anthrax were Thursday admitted to Thika Level 5 Hospital. All slaughterhouses in Thika were consequently closed indefinitely as the Government sought to contain the spread of the disease.
The hospital's superintendent Andrew Toro said the patients, all male, were receiving treatment after they were brought to the facility with symptoms similar to those of anthrax.
Dr Toro said they had already put the patients in an isolation ward as anthrax is a contagious disease. He said the six patients were loaders at a slaughterhouse in Makongeni, one of the most populous estates in Thika.
"We have taken blood samples to the veterinary laboratory in Kabete to confirm if it is really anthrax. The patients are however continuing to receive treatment," Toro said.
Kenya in a move to control coastal fishing He said the county government had dispatched public health and veterinary officers to all abattoirs in the area to establish the source of the disease and take precautionary measures to curb the disease' spread.
The doctor, however, assured the public that the situation is under control. It is suspected the patients were infected after they came into contact with infected meat during the course of their work. "I am cautioning residents against slaughtering livestock that are not inspected, especially those that normally fall ill and die since they may be suffering from a deadly disease," he said. Animals killed by anthrax must be buried in a deep pit and the area burnt in order to kill the germs.
Toro appealed to livestock traders to be more vigilant to curb the spread of the disease. "I am cautioning residents against slaughtering livestock that are not inspected especially those that normally fall ill and die since they may be suffering from a deadly disease," he said. Anthrax leads to bleeding in all openings of an animal causing death.
The Standard Newspapper