Sacred Heart Mukumu Girls’ High School in Kakamega County has closed indefinitely following the deaths of two students in a case of suspected food and water poisoning resulting in bacterial infection.
The school says one of the student hails from Bungoma and another from Navakholo in Kakamega County.
It is reported that more than 500 students have been infected by the bacteria. One student is said to be recovering in the intensive care unit.
According to the Western region’s Education director, Jared Obiero, the Ministry of Health and medics from the county government were investigating the cause of the disease outbreak.
At least 246 learners have been hospitalised in the last week with diarrhea and food poisoning symptoms at Kakamega Teaching and Referral Hospital and St Elizabeth Mukumu Mission Hospital
So far, two students have died, majority discharged from hospital, with only 25 still admitted.
The initial number of students admitted vomiting, diarrhoea and dizziness was 124, but this number has doubled, with some of them also complaining of fatigue and breathlessness.
Initial analysis from the school and investigation by a local hospital indicated that learners may have suffered food or water poisoning. Samples were collected and sent to the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) for analysis.
According to the school’s board of management chairman, Dr Josphat Kaswira, the board would implement corrective measures after receiving Kemri’s report.
He added that out of 2,108 students in the institution, 400 were yet to report to school after the half-term break.
In 2022, two students at the same school are said to have died from a similar incident.