KENYA—Addressing a recent uptick in respiratory infections, particularly influenza cases, the Ministry of Health has clarified that the surge is not attributed to a new COVID-19 variant.

In his statement, Dr. Patrick Amoth, Ag. Director General for Health affirmed that the rise in respiratory illnesses is a seasonal occurrence and not indicative of increased SARS-CoV-2 numbers.

Dr. Amoth emphasized that the Ministry’s surveillance has identified a predictable increase in influenza cases, consistent with annual patterns observed over the last two decades, in which cases occur year-round but peak between February-March and July-November, and that the current increase is consistent with expected seasonal influenza patterns.

He went on to dismiss speculation surrounding a purported new COVID variant named “Glade JN1,” asserting that no significant changes in hospitalizations or fatalities have been noted to suggest a novel coronavirus threat.

In light of these developments, Dr. Amoth reiterated the importance of preventative measures, including maintaining distance from sick individuals, adhering to respiratory and hand hygiene practices, wearing masks in public settings, and considering influenza vaccination.

The Ministry particularly emphasized safeguarding vulnerable demographics such as children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with underlying health conditions.

The Ministry concluded by stressing the necessity of collective action in combatting respiratory illnesses and urged the public to remain vigilant.

Dr. Amoth reaffirmed the Ministry’s dedication to addressing the current surge and ensuring the health and safety of all Kenyans.

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