68 Kenyan students shut in over swine flu fears - Daily Nation
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68 Kenyan students shut in over swine flu fears

Sunday September 20 2009

By NATION Team

A school was quarantined on Sunday after 68 students were taken ill with symptoms similar to those of swine flu. Koibatek district education officer Andrew Mibei said the students of Eldama Ravine Girls Secondary School had been isolated in one dormitory.

A medical team led by the district medical officer of health, Dr Chris Kemboi, had been sent to the school to monitor the situation.

Mr Mibei said on Saturday 48 students were taken ill and the number increased on Sunday. “I have visited the school and I would like to assure parents and guardians that their girls are in stable condition” he said.

Elsewhere, 10 students of Naro Moru Girls Secondary School in Nyeri have also been quarantined after testing positive for swine flu. The Central provincial director of public health and sanitation, Dr George Ngatiri, said blood samples sent to the government chemist confirmed the cases.

“The girls are under medication. Measures have also been put in place to ensure the disease does not spread further,” he told the Nation. In Molo, nine students from St Joseph’s Seminary have been quarantined at the Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital over fears they could be infected with swine flu.

The principal, Father Peter Mwangi, told journalists that several students had developed headaches, coughs and fever, the symptoms associated with swine flu.Fr Mwangi said that when they were taken to Molo District Hospital, they were found to have upper respiratory tract infection.

Blood samples from the sick boys had been sent to the Kenya Medical Research Institute in Nairobi for analysis, he added. The number of students taken ill has risen to 55, from 45 at the end of last week when the symptoms were first detected at the school.

At the same time, the administrator of Sacred Heart Boys in Rongai, Father Johannes Haga, yesterday confirmed that 30 students at the school had also shown symptoms of the flu. He said they had been separated from the rest of the students. Blood samples from the students had been sent to Nairobi for testing.

Reported by George Sayagie, John Njagi and Francis Mureithi