The Nakuru County Department of Health has responded to media reports about an outbreak of the H1N1 flu, commonly known as swine flu.
Swine flu is a human respiratory infection caused by an influenza strain that started in pigs. Swine flu was first recognised in the 1919 pandemic and still circulates as a seasonal flu virus. Swine flu is caused by the H1N1 virus strain, which started in pigs. [sic]
Nakuru county acting Chief Officer of Public Health Services Dr Daniel Wainaina clarified that what was detected is a seasonal Influenza A outbreak and not Swine flu as reported by media outlets on Tuesday, August 23, 2022.
Wainaina explained that Influenza A (subtype H1NI) is a virus which causes the common cold and was associated with the just-ended cold season experienced in the country.
"The variant detected in Nakuru is not the one that causes influenza in animals. The Nakuru County Department of Health, therefore, wishes to clarify that no swine-flu cases have been detected in the county as reported by some sections of the media," Dr Wainaina said in a statement.
Wainaina further revealed that the Nakuru County Department of Health had collected and sent additional samples to the laboratory awaiting results.
Influenza highly infectious
The health department issued a public health advisory following increased cases of Influenza in the county.
As of Monday, August 23, a total of 143 cases of Influenza had been reported including 127 children under 5 years.
So far 135 have recovered and discharged from hospitals, 7 are currently admitted. One has succumbed to the disease.
Influenza is a common viral infection that can be deadly, especially in high-risk groups. The flu attacks the lungs, nose and throat. Young children, older adults, pregnant women and people with chronic disease or weak immune systems are at high risk.
Symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headaches and fatigue.
The flu is treated primarily with rest and fluid to let the body fight the infection on its own. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain relievers may help with symptoms. An annual vaccine can help prevent the flu and limit its complications. [sic]
Due to the increased cases, the Nakuru health department has advised citizens to practice hand hygiene, avoid close contact with infected persons, observe cough etiquette and vaccinate against influenza (for those at high risk of infection).