New wave of Covid-19 and influenza hit Kisumu schools


Dozens of pupils from five schools in Kisumu are said to be infected as health experts warn residents to take precautions against the spread of influenza, including Covid-19.

Photo credit: Pool

Health experts have warned Kisumu residents to take precautions against the spread of influenza, including Covid-19.

Dozens of pupils from five schools are infected. Arina Primary School, Xaverian Primary School, Joel Omino Primary and St Barnabas are some of the schools affected, officials said.

Acting County Director of Public Health Liliana Dayo, said out of seven learners in Seme who underwent Covid-19 testing, four tested positive.

"Cases of respiratory infections are on the rise in Seme and Kisumu Central. Most of the learners have symptoms like runny nose, fever and cough," said Ms Dayo.

Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) health pillar lead Ochieng Gumbo noted that the wave of influenza is concentrated in schools.

"Most children are not in school. We have advised head teachers to allow infected pupils to stay at home until they recover. Adults are coping well, but it is taking a toll on the children," Mr Gumbo said.

Influenza is an acute viral respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, headache, sore throat, joint pain and cough.

It is spread by respiratory contact. Human influenza is caused by influenza viruses, which are divided into three main types: influenza A, B and C.

However, it is preventable through vaccination, wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing.

Ms Dayo said there was a need to reintroduce the strict Covid-19 control measures.

"We encourage Kisumu residents to take the vaccination campaign seriously and complete the dose," she said.

She warned that if Covid-19 regulations are relaxed, cases of respiratory disease will increase.

LREB Covid-19 Advisory Committee Chairperson Khama Rogo urged residents to be vigilant in the face of increasing outbreaks of respiratory infections.

"Covid-19 is not over yet; we will have to live with it. Although the flu may not be as severe as Covid-19, people need to be careful," said Prof Rogo.

He pointed out that lax vaccination practices are a major obstacle to containing Covid-19.

Myths, misconceptions and lies surrounding the vaccines have led a section of the population to refrain from taking the Covid-19 vaccine.

"Most people do not want to be vaccinated. To be safe, get vaccinated," he said.