Patrick Amoth, the acting director-general of health in the Ministry of Health, said that the two secondary schools affected by the disease outbreak have since been closed as investigations continue.
"As of April 14, 2023, 627 patients have been taken ill while 19 students are currently admitted in health facilities in the region in stable condition," Amoth said at a briefing in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.
He said that the unknown disease that started on March 1 presented symptoms including fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.
He said that Ministry of Health personnel have since taken several water, food and human tissue samples from which preliminary laboratory investigations undertaken have revealed bacterial strains including E. Coli and Salmonella.
Amoth noted that the E. Coli and Salmonella bacteria strains usually occur if water sources are contaminated with microorganisms and have the potential of spreading where people live and eat in close proximity.
He clarified that laboratory tests for Ebola Virus Disease, Marburg Virus Disease, Leptospirosis and Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever, Dengue Fever, Rift Valley Fever and West Nile Virus have all turned negative.
Amoth said that the Ministry of Health personnel are conducting further analysis of the samples to ascertain any other potential cause of the strange illness while appealing to Kenyans to be vigilant and report suspected cases to nearby health facilities.
A multi-sectoral team has since inspected several facilities at the affected schools and highlighted immediate measures to be taken to enhance the safety of students.
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