By Magdalene Mukami
NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) - More than 770 people with Chikungunya fever have been hospitalized in northern Kenya, the health minister said Tuesday, in the country’s worst outbreak since 2004.
Cleopa Mailu said half the health workers in the area had been infected by the mosquito-borne disease, which although rarely fatal can cause serious complications such as respiratory and renal failure, cardiovascular decomposition and acute hepatitis.
In a statement, the minister said a team of 15 health experts had been sent to North Eastern province to help contain the disease, which typically causes high fever, severe joint and muscle pain and fatigue.
“We have engaged community health volunteers to conduct door-to-door visits to identify and spray mosquito breeding sites,” Mailu said.
In 2004, 13,500 cases were reported on Lamu Island.
North Eastern province has also been hit by a rise in cholera cases since May, with more than 1,200 cases reported.