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20 Kenya students contract Swine Flu

Thursday September 17 2009

An ambulance leaves Kenya High School where 20 students contracted Swine Flu and were placed in isolation on September 17, 2009. Security guards were given strict orders not to allow any visitors, parents and journalists except medical personnel. Photo/ PHOEBE OKALL

An ambulance leaves Kenya High School where 20 students contracted Swine Flu and were placed in isolation on September 17, 2009. Security guards were given strict orders not to allow any visitors, parents and journalists except medical personnel. Photo/ PHOEBE OKALL 

By MIKE MWANIKI

Twenty Kenya High School students have contracted Swine Flu and were immediately placed in isolation on Thursday.

The Director of Public Health Dr Shanaaz Shariff said following the outbreak, the affected students had been isolated in one room after they were treated at the school.

"A majority of the affected students who are in Forms One and Two were treated and advised to remain under bed rest to minimise further spread of the disease among the student community," Dr Shariff said.

He described their condition as "not too serious to warrant hospitalisation."

Following the outbreak of the disease, the health officials placed the school under quarantine for the next 10 days to monitor the students and minimise spread of the disease.

To comply with the directive, visits by parents and guardians will be minimised.

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During a spot check by the Nation, guards manning the school’s gate refused entry saying they were under firm instructions by the school management to lock out journalists and other visitors. However, the Nation spotted two ambulances leaving the school compound. Also, calls placed to the school management went unanswered.

Last month, health officials announced that 70 cases of H1N1 had been reported in the country with Nairobi leading with 40 cases, Kisumu (18), Rift Valley (10) Garissa (2) and Nyeri (1).

Swine Flu symptoms include fever and general body weakness.

The first case of swine flu to be diagnosed in Kenya was of a British student who was in a group of 34 others on an education trip.