Kenya – Mukumu girls deaths linked to E.coli, Salmonella from contaminated water


Three students and a teacher at Sacred Heart Mukumu Girls in Kakamega died as a result of contaminated water.

The Ministry of Health Friday said preliminary findings had revealed E. coli and Salmonella typhi, a bacterium that is responsible for typhoid fever as the causes of the illness initially suspected to be cholera.

“The Ministry wishes to inform the general public that this disease is likely to be a mixture of E. coli and Salmonella typhi which usually occurs if water sources are contaminated with these micro-organisms” Ag. Director General for Health Dr. Patrick Amoth said.

A comprehensive investigation is however underway even as the top health official ruled out aflatoxin.

Several learning institutions including, Mukumu Girls and Butere Boys in Kamamega and the latest being Mukuuni Boys High School in Chuka, Tharaka Nithi County have been closed after students were taken ill.

“The Ministry of Health has taken several water, food, and human tissue samples, from which preliminary laboratory investigations undertaken have revealed Enterotoxigenic E. coli and Salmonella typhi as the causes of the illness,” he said

“Further laboratory investigations carried out on the grains and pulses for aflatoxin have turned negative for aflatoxicosis- a dangerous fungal infection from poorly stored cereal grains” he added.

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