Thursday, December 21, 2006

Unidentified Disease is killing many Kenyan Somalis

Eleven people have died of a highly contagious disease in parts of North Eastern Province.
Seven people have died in Garissa and four others in Ijara District in the past two days.

Symptoms of the disease include high fever, jaundice (yellowness in the eyes), vomiting blood, diarrhoea, headache and swelling on both legs and hands.

"Most victims bleed through all body openings, leading to death in about 48 hours after infection," said Special Programmes ministry spokesman Tom Namasaka.

40 deaths

More cases of the disease continued to be received from Korakora, Amuma, Liboi, Shanta-Abaq, Baraki, Fafi and Shimbirey where about 40 deaths of livestock have also been reported.

Garissa district medical officer of health Abdullahi Abagira warned that the disease was probably spreading to human beings through consumption of animal products.

Garissa district veterinary officer William Kabak confirmed an outbreak of lumpy skin disease (LSD) and black quarter diseases in the region and warned residents against eating uninspected meat.

In Nairobi, a senior deputy director of medical services, Dr Francis Kimani, said the results of the investigations were likely to be released today.

The Kenya Red Cross Society said it has prepared isolation centres to tackle all reported cases.