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Volume 27, Number 4—April 2021

Low-Level Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus among Camel Handlers, Kenya, 2019

Peninah M. MunyuaComments to Author , Isaac Ngere, Elizabeth Hunsperger, Adano Kochi, Patrick Amoth, Lydia Mwasi, Suxiang Tong, Athman Mwatondo, Natalie Thornburg, Marc-Alain Widdowson12, and M. Kariuki Njenga1
Author affiliations: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nairobi, Kenya (P.M. Munyua, E. Hunsperger, M.A. Widdowson); University of Nairobi, Nairobi (I. Ngere); Washington State University, Nairobi (I. Ngere, M.K. Njenga);; County Government of Marsabit, Marsabit, Kenya (A. Kochi); Kenya Ministry of Health, Nairobi (P. Amoth, A. Mwatondo);; Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi (L. Mwasi); US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (S. Tong, N. Thornburg)

Main Article

Table 1

Characteristics of camel handlers enrolled in a study on Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, Marsabit, Kenya, 2018–2020*

Characteristic Value, n = 262
M 176 (67.2)
86 (32.8)
Age, y
<19 131 (50)
20–39 73 (27.9)
40–59 41 (15.6)
17 (6.5)
Median participant age, y (IQR)
19 (11–38)
Work engagement in the previous 30 d
Camel farm worker 103 (39.3)
Primary/secondary school student 100 (38.2)
Housewife 28 (10.7)
Farm owner 22 (8.4)
Pastoralist 6 (2.3)
Not currently engaged 2 (0.8)
1 (0.4)
Median household size (IQR) 6 (1–8)
Median camel herd size (IQR) 32 (2–48)
History of chronic respiratory symptoms† 5 (1.9)
History of other chronic conditions‡ 1 (0.4)
History of travel in the previous 5 y
Past tobacco use 72 (27.5)
Current tobacco use
72 (27.5)
Respiratory symptoms during the 2-year follow-up period 25 (9.5)
Fever 5 (1.9)
Running nose 39 (14.9)
Cough 25 (9.5)
Nasal stuffiness 23 (8.8)
Sore throat 16 (6.1)
Chest pain 2 (0.8)

*Values are no. (%) except as indicated.
†Respiratory symptoms include cough, sore throat, running nose, nasal stuffiness, chest pain.
‡Other chronic medical conditions include diabetes, cancer, liver disease, kidney disease, and tuberculosis.

Main Article

1These senior authors contributed equally to this article.

2Current affiliation: Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.

Page created: February 17, 2021
Page updated: March 18, 2021
Page reviewed: March 18, 2021
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