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Over 185 Imenti South residents taken ill after eating sick cow meat

By Phares Mutembei | October 19th 2015

What promised to be a hearty meal of beef for a village in Imenti South was not to be.

And who could blame them for their excitement? After all, meat is not an every day item on the menu for most families in this village. So, on the day the aroma of beef- whether fried or roasted- is in the air, it is often a meal to relish.

But one such meal has turned out poisonous for a village in Imenti South. 185 people were treated, and 80 admitted Sunday for anthrax after they ate meat from a sick cow that was slaughtered in Kiroone village, Egoji West ward.

Kanyekine District Hospital Clinical Officer Bernard Gituma said 10 people had been admitted, including two children below 10 years.

More patients affected by the poisonous meat were still streaming into the hospital, complaining of diarrhoea and vomiting.

Virginia Karimi said she and her two children ate one kilogramme of the meat they bought from their neighbour, Muthomi Buria, who had slaughtered the cow.

"I bought one kilogramme at Sh300 on Thursday evening. But I started experiencing diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach ache on Saturday. My daughter also ate the meat but she is fine and is at home," Ms Karimi said.

Cow's owner

Risper Kathure complained of diarrhoea and stomach ache.

The villagers rushed their sick relatives to the hospital on boda bodas, which we found still parked in the hospital compound.

Egoji West MCA Alphaxard Chabari was among those who helped to take the patients to the hospital.

"Treatment is free, so even those who are not experiencing the pain should go for check-up. Those affected are from about 10 families and we thank the county government for taking the affected to hospital with their ambulances," Mr Chabari said.

"We have treated them of anthrax and abdominal pains," said Mr Gituma.

Gituma said the hospital is expecting more people to stream in since most of those who ate the meat had not reported to hospital.

He noted that some of the consumers were not experiencing any complications, as he advised them to seek medical attention.

Patients we found at the hospital said the cow's owner is at large, adding that none of his family members ate the meat.

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