Kenya: State Refutes Anthrax Panic

  • Andrew Toimur (left) having a light moment with Elgeyo Marakwet County governor Alex Tolgos. Photo: Peter Kenda

State Department for Livestock in Kenya has refuted claims of an anthrax outbreak in the central region of the country.

The Principal Secretary in the State Department, Dr Andrew Toimur, is saying that recent claims of an anthrax outbreak in Thika were just fears.

The state says that laboratory tests conducted on the sample specimens from the six suspected meat-loaders at various hospitals tested negative.

In a recent statement he made in Kericho Veterinary Investigation Laboratory, based in the South Rift region, Toimur encouraged members of the public to remain vigilant and avoid partaking in uninspected meat.

Anthrax normally affects animals, especially ruminants, which are the main source of meat in Kenya, and can be transmitted to humans by contact with infected animals or their products.

The deadly virus had barred meat lovers in Kenya from freely feasting on their favourite meals and this state report is a sigh of relief for them.

Consequently, meat businesses that have stalled in central Kenya over the panic have returned to normal.

Last week, Dr Jacob Toro, Director of Clinical Services in Kiambu County, stated to the press that eight people, all meat loaders at a slaughterhouse in Makongeni, had shown signs and symptoms of anthrax and were hospitalised and kept under quarantine.

Meanwhile, the 370Kshs million’s worth Kericho Veterinary Investigation Laboratory is under construction and it will serve as a diagnosis and disease surveillance centre as well as the Tea Research Institute upon its completion.

The vet lab, which is expected to serve nine counties in Kenya, will also manufacture orthodox tea that is in high demand due to its health benefits.

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