Kakamega county orders probe into six ‘mystery deaths’

The Kakamega county government has ordered health officials to investigate the mysterious deaths of six people in Shinyalu sub-county.

Health executive Dr Collins Matemba said specialists have been dispatched to Shina village in the sub-county to examine patients exhibiting symptoms similar to the six people who died.

Their families said the victims had consumed stolen liqour from a local brewer.

Their hands and genitals started swelling before they died in a span of one month. The last two died on April 4.

Residents believe the owner of the illicit brew could have resorted to witchcraft after the victims failed to come out and apologise for stealing.

They fear 22 others who shared the drink could die soon because they have also fallen sick.

Speaking to journalists, Matemba dismissed earlier claims that eight people had died from the mysterious illness.

The county medical team has questioned two of those affected with a view of coming up with a medical explanation and solution.

Matemba said the county will give out ambulances tomorrow to ferry the survivors to the Kakamega county general hospital for tests.

“It is not true that eight people died mysteriously for allegedly taking stolen brew. We have confirmed they are six and we are at the tail of investigation. We shall give the results tomorrow after the sample of the survivors have been tested,” he said.

He said only five people, and not 22 as claimed earlier, are ill and their lives are not in danger.

The Health chief said they have confirmed that the five people have made progress and could be discharged soon.

Matemba further refuted claims that the deaths were reported last year adding that the six died in an interval of two weeks.

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