Swine Flu saga students leave Kenya

July 5, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 5 – Six British students who had been quarantined in Kisumu after one of their colleagues tested positive for the H1N1 influenza virus commonly known as Swine Flu left Kenya for the UK on Sunday afternoon.

Sources at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport said the six, all female checked in at around 9.30am for their midday flight.

The six were among 33 others who travelled from Kisumu to Nairobi in separate mini-buses on Saturday night after completing a six-day quarantine.

Capital News learnt that the rest of the medical students would leave for the UK on Sunday night.

The fate of the student who was first tested positive for the H1N1 influenza virus remained unclear.

Speaking to Capital News, Director of Public Health Dr Shahnaaz Shariff said it was now safe for the students to travel with other passengers.

"According to the International Health Regulations, no sick person is supposed to be put on a plane. But because they were on quarantine for six days and also on medication, they cannot transmit the disease to other people," he assured.

Nine more students were confirmed to have tested positive to the Swine Flu on Friday by the Kenya Medical Research Institute.

However the government moved fast to array fears that the disease was likely to spread fast in the country.  No Kenyan has tested positive for the Flu.

So far, the World Health Organisation has reported 89,921 cases of the Swine Flu with 382 deaths worldwide. Kenya is listed as having 12 cases.

Meanwhile Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has asked Kenyans and foreigners to ignore the alarm raised by the reports of H1N1 influenza virus.

He said Kenya was still a safe destination for tourists.

"Health authorities have indicated that this a mild flu so people should not fear. Go about your activities normally and visit the various tourist destinations," he said.

The Vice President was speaking on Friday night during a cultural extravaganza to mark the end of the Czech Presidency to the EU.


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