At least eight people with suspected Dengue Fever have been admitted at a private hospital in Mombasa town as health experts are deployed to tackle the spread of fever being described by medical experts as containable.
Coast regional director of the Public Health and Sanitation, Dr Anisa Omar said blood spacemen collected from the eight patients admitted at the Mombasa Hospital have been flown to South Africa for analysis.
In an interview on Monday with the Daily Nation, Dr Anisa said the private hospital management did not notify her disease surveillance team the eight cases as required and instead decided to test the blood spacemen abroad.
“They did not alert us as required and instead decided to blood samples from the eight suspect cases to South Africa but we were aware of the outbreak two weeks ago,” she added.
She however said she has no problem with the decision taken by Mombasa Hospital to conduct the analysis in South Africa saying it is prudent for quality purposes.
Dr Omar said blood spacemen taken from two other patients admitted at the Aga Khan Hospital tested positive for Dengue fever after laboratory analysis conducted at the Center of Communicable Disease Control (CDC) in Nairobi.
“They are out of danger and we are monitoring the situation closely. However, there is no cause of alarm as Dengue Fever is almost similar to normal malaria with symptoms like back pain and can be contained with an early detection and proper medication,” She added.
The provincial director of public health and sanitation surveillances have been intensified in all 23 districts in the region with samples being collected daily and taken to the Nairobi based facility to conduct analysis for the fever among other assorted communicable diseases.
Dr Anisa said she is leading her public health team to collect data from private hospitals where all suspected dengue fever cases were reported and ensure affected areas are properly mapped out and residents educated on better ways of preventing themselves from the fever.
She called on the residents to ensure they sleep under mosquito net to ward off possible bite from infected female mosquitos transmitting the dengue fever also called break bone fever.
“The most effective prevention of the fever is for members of public to adhere to simple prevention of malaria by sleeping under net and clean environment to destroying their breading ground,” Dr Anisa observed.
She said they are focusing on control measures to reduce the risk of sustained transmission locally, to minimize the impact on the affected population and to prevent the export of infected vectors outside the region.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO) Dengue fever is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes mosquito infected with any one of the four dengue viruses.
“Symptoms, which appear from 3-14 days after infection, range from mild fever to incapacitating high fever with severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains and rash,” says the UN health body.
The world health body said an early clinical diagnosis and careful clinical management by experienced physicians and nurses increase survival of patients.
WHO stated that Dengue is the most common mosquito-borne viral disease of humans that in recent years has become a major international public health concern. Globally, 2.5 billion people live in areas where dengue viruses can be transmitted.
“An estimated 2.5 billion people live in over 100 endemic countries and areas where dengue viruses can be transmitted. Up to 50 million infections occur annually with 500 000 cases of dengue haemorrhagic fever and 22,000 deaths mainly among children,” said WHO on it’s website.