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How one family lost three members in a week in suspected Covid-19 cases

The deaths of three members of a Kitui County family in less than a week have left a village in grief.

The deaths of a man, his mother and sister in quick succession have alarmed health authorities and thrown Masaani village in Kwa Vonza location into mourning.

It began with the demise of Tom Kilonzo Ileve, 51, an officer with the Kenya Revenue Authority, who was attached to the customs department in Mombasa.

Area chief Ronald Mbuvi said Ileve had travelled from the Coast on October 16, but was taken ill soon after arrival. He was rushed to Neema Hospital in Kitui where he died hours later.

“He had complained of chest pains when approaching home. The family took him to hospital the same evening but he never made it,” the administrator said, adding that Mr Ileve was buried on Saturday.

Dead on arrival

The KRA official’s elder sister Domitila Munyoki fell ill on Sunday and was taken to hospital.

She succumbed to the illness the following day. Relatives said Ms Munyoki was diabetic.

The worst was to follow. As the family was gathering to plan the second burial yesterday, family matriarch Anne Nzisiva Ileve complained of a headache, fever and difficulty in breathing.

The 90-year-old was taken to hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Local local administrators, health authorities and other leaders have gone to the homestead to console the family.

County Health chief officer Richard Muthoka said medical investigations have been launched to determine the cause of the deaths.

Grieving family

He said added that doctors h ave taken samples from more than 20 family members and relatives of the deceased to determine if the deaths are coronavirus-related.

“The two bodies will be examined to rule out the doubts and fears surrounding the deaths. The three had interacted with one another,” Dr Muthoka said.

“The first death was of an individual who had travelled from Mombasa, one of the Covid-19 hotspots.”

Dr Muthoka added that health authorities have begun tracing anyone who interacted with the three.

“We ask those who were in contact with the family to come testing,” Dr Muthoka said.

The grieving family is preparing to bury the bodies that are lying at Kitui County Referral Hospital mortuary.