Medics Explain Countrywide Flu Outbreak

  • File photo of people walking in Nairobi CBD
    File photo of people walking in Nairobi CBD
    File
  • Over the last few weeks, Kenya has experienced a spike in cases of flu and the common cold, causing fear and unprecedented challenges that come with its uptick.

    Medical experts state that for the last two years, the country has not experienced a typical flu season owing to the containment measures that were imposed by the government during the pandemic. 

    Statistics point to a surge in cases of flu which are clocking the 10,000 cases mark per day across the country, forcing a section of Kenyans to restart wearing masks in public areas.

    One of the biggest concerns is the potential for patients to contract both Covid-19 and flu at the same time, an unlucky combination known as flurona.

    A social worker distributing face masks in Nairobi.
    A social worker distributing face masks in Nairobi.
    File

    Nonetheless, medical experts ruled out the possibility of another pandemic outbreak in the country.

    "We haven’t experienced a typical flu season for the past two years as the country was under lockdown thus the minimal spread of viruses in the community.

    "The number of patients with flu-like symptoms being admitted to hospital has increased," a report on the flu outbreak explained.

    Doctor Ahmed Yakub Kalebi while speaking to Citizen TV on Monday, May 23, noted that the flu might be caused by other viruses including influenza.

    Kalebi is a specialist in General Anatomical Pathology and Lab Medicine. 

    "There are hundreds of viruses that can potentially cause flu. Interestingly in many countries and certainly here in Kenya, the respiratory infection we are seeking is linked to Influenza A," Kalebi explained.

    Most people, the doctor stated, have acquired immunity against Covid-19 and the increased uptake of the vaccine has shielded the citizens from contracting the virus.

    "I don't expect us to get into another serious wave because of the understanding of the disease. Almost 80 per cent of the people have been exposed to the virus so as a result, most people have developed immunity.

    A medical practitioner dressed in protective gear at Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    A medical practitioner dressed in protective gear at the Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Simon Kiragu
    Kenyans.co.ke

    "Notably, the increased understanding especially among the frontline workers has helped the country shield itself from the virus," he assured.

    AMREF CEO Githinji Gitahi on the other hand urged the government to increase its campaign on vaccine uptake to prevent the country from cases of virus surge in the country.

    Parents were also asked to be careful and protect their kids from contracting the virus causing flu considering that they have had little exposure in the last two years.

    "This can be very serious, especially for young children who have had little to no exposure to flu over the last two years," the medic explained.