First COVID-19 case confirmed in Nairobi, Kenya

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe/Photo: File

(Thessherald)–The Kenyan Ministry of Health has confirmed the country’s first case of coronavirus (COVID-19) since the deadly virus outbreak in 2019.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said it is an imported case by a Kenyan national who came from the United States.

The Kenyan government has reportedly taken measures to control the spread of the pandemic virus that continues to threaten the world on an unprecedented scale.

“Members of the press and fellow Kenyans, I want to inform you that the Ministry of Health has confirmed the first Coronavirus case in Kenya,” said Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe.

The following Statement was issued by the Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health has confirmed a Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case in Nairobi. The case, which was confirmed on the 12th March 2020, is the first one to be reported in Kenya since the beginning of the outbreak in China in December 2019. The case is a Kenyan citizen who travelled back to Nairobi returning from the United States of America via London, United Kingdom on the 5th March 2020. She was confirmed positive by the National Influenza Centre Laboratory at the National Public Health Laboratories of the Ministry of Health. The patient is clinically stable, and is being managed at the Infectious Diseases Unit at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

The Government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Health, continues to strengthen measures to ensure no further transmission of the disease in Kenya. The National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus preparedness and response will continue to provide strategic leadership working through whole Government approach to respond to this case in the implementation of mitigation measures.

“I wish to assure all Kenyans that we have been beefing up our preparedness capacities since the first confirmed cases in China. The Government will use all the available resources to respond to this case.”

“The Government has traced all the contacts of the patient since her arrival in Kenya. Kenyans are reminded that most people who become infected may experience only mild illness and recover easily, but the disease can be more severe in others, especially the elderly and persons with other chronic illnesses.”


What is a coronavirus?

According to the World Health Organization, Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.

In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?


The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually.

Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment.

Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

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