Team sent to Chesumei, Nandi County, over rabies outbreak

The public health department has sent a disease-surveillance team to Chesumei constituency following reports of a rabies outbreak.

The team led by Japheth Ruto, who is the county co-ordinator for disease surveillance, ascertained that indeed there was an outbreak of the viral disease in Kapkobis.

Veterinary officials were dispatched to the affected area where 60 people suspected to have been exposed to rabies were vaccinated.

“The disease-surveillance team is working round the clock to gauge if the viral disease has spread further. We are on the lookout for more infected for treatment,” Mr Ruto said.

Veterinary officials began a thorough exercise of vaccinating dogs.

Public health and veterinary officers are also currently poisoning and killing stray dogs in a bid to curb further spread of the disease.

By Friday, five dogs in Kapkobis had already died of the viral disease.

Nandi Deputy Governor Dominic Chepyagan called for vaccination of cats as possible hosts who can spread the disease further.

Cats equally dangerous

“We must not assume that dogs are the only hosts who can spread the disease. Cats are equally dangerous,” he said.

Mr Chepyagan called for caution among residents in affected areas while handling affected animals. He further asked residents to present their animals to veterinary officials for vaccination to prevent any further spread of the disease.

The disease surveillance co-ordinator said there is no human life that has been lost so far.

The viral disease can spread when an infected animal bites or scratches another animal or human. If untreated, rabies can potentially lead to death.

Symptoms include fever and a tingling feeling at the site of exposure. Others include violent movement, over excitement and fear of water.

As the world marked last year’s World Rabies Day, celebrated on September 28 every year, Kenya launched her “Strategy for the Elimination of Human Rabies by 2030”, effectively making her the first African country to embark on a journey to realising Louis Pasteur’s (famous for inventing vaccines against rabies and anthrax, and milk preservation through pasteurisation) 129-year-old vision of ridding the world of the disease.

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