Kisumu anthrax outbreak ‘contained’, mass vaccination to begin

The anthrax outbreak in Kisumu County has been contained, County Director of Health Dickens Onyango said on Sunday.

The disease has left one person dead and others hospitalised.

Oscar Ondire died last Thursday, a few hours after being admitted at Kisumu County Referral Hospital.

Dr Onyango also reported that four people who were admitted with the disease had been discharged.

He announced that mass livestock vaccination will kick off Tuesday and that authorities will ensure uninspected meat is not sold to prevent another outbreak.

“We have managed to contain the disease and are working closely with the veterinary department so that uninspected meat does not end up in butcheries,” he told the Nation.

The four people fell sick after eating the meat of a cow believed to have been infected.

Over the weekend, the county’s disease surveillance team was dispatched to Nyamasaria and Mowlem to pick residents who consumed the meat.

About 40 people were treated and discharged.

Kisumu has also embarked on educating the public on the dangers of eating contaminated meat.

County Director of Veterinary Services, Dr Evan Odhiambo, said they were discouraging residents from using illegal slaughter houses and eating uninspected meat.

“Animals must be slaughtered in ideal [locations] and the meat must be inspected before it is taken to butcheries for sale,” said Dr Odhiambo.

She said it was unfortunate that the outbreak came as officials prepared to vaccinate livestock in Nyamasaria and Mowlem.

“We are discouraging people from household slaughters. Monitoring is difficult with home slaughters.”

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