, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 24 – The Ministry of Health has increased surveillance of visitors coming from Madagascar following a plague outbreak in that country.
According to the Director of Medical Services Jackson Kioko, aircraft from the country must now submit health declaration forms and sanitation certificates at the points of entry.
In a statement, he pointed out that in Madagascar, the plague outbreak has killed more than 100 people since August and more than 1,100 cases of infections have been reported.
“The World Health Organisation has notified the Ministry of Health of a confirmed ongoing plague epidemic in Madagascar. The cases have been reported from eighteen out of 22 regions in the country including traditionally non endemic areas,” he said.
“In view of the above information, it is necessary that the health care system in the country initiates preparedness and response measures to prevent spread to the country and to promptly detect, notify and appropriately manage any suspected cases in the community or in health facilities if the outbreak spreads to Kenya.”
He outlined some of the symptoms to look out for which include fever, headache, and difficulty in breathing.
“Specifically, all county health management teams, sub-county health management teams, hospital health management teams, health workers in hospitals and those at points of entry are asked to look out for patients with acute onset of fever, chills, headache, severe malaise, chest pain and difficulty in breathing,” he stated.
He said that alls suspected cases of plague should be reported to the Disease, Surveillance and Response Unit and the Ministry of Health
Plague can be transmitted to humans through bites of infected fleas, direct contact with infected fluids or tissues and inhalation of infected respiratory droplets.
The plague outbreak has forced Madagascar to suspend the country’s 2017-2018 academic calendar indefinitely for the fourth time due to the epidemic.