Kala-azar Outbreak Reported in Marsabit

Although no official reports concerning any fatalities, reports indicate that already two people are feared to have succumbed to the outbreak.

Kala-azar Outbreak Reported in Marsabit
An insect reportedly associated with the Kala-azar pandemic. [Source/ Courtesy]

The second-largest global killer parasitic outbreak after malaria has been reported in Marsabit county, with about 19 victims undergoing medication at Wajir County Referral Hospital.

According to Mandera Public Health Chief Officer Rahma Abdullahi, the patients were referred to Wajir, since Marsabit had no capacity to handle such. 

"We have reported cases of kala-azar in Kutulo Sub-county and about 16 infected persons have been taken to Wajir for treatment," revealed Rahma.

The Chief Officer stated that only two cases were being held within the county, with efforts ongoing to establish more centres in Mandera before the situation gets out of control. 

Lengthy drought periods had primarily been blamed for the situation, owing to the increased multiplication of sandflies. With the flies lacking livestock to bite, resorting to biting and infecting human beings.

The health official noted that the initial signs of the infection were detected in January this year, adding that signs begin to show between two and eight months after being bitten.

The symptoms associated include swollen lymph nodes, enlarged spleen and liver, bleeding, fever, loss of weight, general weakness, among others.

Lack of immediate medical attention can lead to life loss by the victims.