An outbreak of rabies and anthrax has hit three wards in Bomet County, leaving one person dead and several others infected. The outbreak, which has been reported in the Chepalungu, Sigor, and Sotik wards, has caused concern among residents and health officials in the region.
Veterinary officers from Longisa, Kipreres, and Kipsonoi wards are battling to contain the outbreak that has claimed the life of one person and seen five members of a family hospitalized, according to the officials most animals have also died, and others are being treated following the outbreak.
The outbreak in Bomet has been attributed to the consumption of meat from infected animals, as well as contact with infected animals. Health officials in the region have urged residents to take precautions, such as avoiding contact with wild animals and ensuring that meat is properly cooked before consumption.
Dr Kibert Sitienei, an Agriculture, Fisheries, and Livestock Chief officer has said that the first case was reported two weeks ago. While having fears that the situation may get out of hand Dr Sitienei said that vaccination is already underway.
“We have mapped out affected areas, and our officers are actively on the ground trying to contain the situation,” he said.
In addition, the health officials have recommended vaccination against rabies for those who may have come into contact with infected animals. They have also advised residents to seek medical attention immediately if they develop symptoms such as fever, headache, or muscle pain.
Bomet Governor Hillary Barchok has given out a batch of vaccines worth Sh18.8 million to help in the vaccination against the diseases. Barchok said the vaccines would see 20,000 cows vaccinated as well as 12,000 dogs and cats.
He asked members of the public to ensure their animals are vaccinated to protect them against infection.
The governor, who was in the company of Rosa Langat, the County Executive Committee member in charge of Agriculture, said a team of veterinary officials was conducting surveillance to trace animals that are affected.
County Director of Veterinary Dr Gilbert Koech said the vaccination exercise is being conducted at the ward level. The county has partnered with the Kenya Red Cross Society Bomet branch to conduct the vaccination.
The outbreak highlights the importance of effective public health measures in preventing the spread of infectious diseases. Health officials have urged residents to work closely with them to contain the outbreak and prevent further spread of the diseases.
BY SHIPHRAH DIANA