By Magdalene Mukami
NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) – More than 500 people have been admitted at various hospitals in Kenya’s northeastern town of Mandera after an outbreak of the mosquito-borne Chikungunya fever.
Local health officials urged the government to step in to contain the disease, which is transmitted to humans via mosquitoes.
Ibrahim Ali, a doctor based in Mandera, told Anadolu Agency via telephone that this was not the first time such cases had been reported in northern Kenya.
"Last year, we had such cases but nothing this big; it came and disappeared as fast as it had arrived, but this one is quite huge,” Ali said.
The chief health officer in Mandera, Mariam Dubow, told Anadolu Agency via phone that the disease was not life threatening if controlled.
Dubow said a team has been deployed in the area to find all those who had been infected and offer medical assistance.
Kenya is currently experiencing a long spell of rains, which have left large volumes of stagnant water, making it ideal for mosquitoes to breed.
Health experts in the region fear that if the outbreak was not tackled quickly, the number of infected people might soar within a short period of time.
The World Health Organization lists fever, severe joint pain, muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rashes as the main symptoms of the disease.