Kenyan immigrants in the US have been listed among the top spreaders of Tuberculosis (TB).
A report published by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranked Kenyan immigrants as the fifth-highest transmitters of the bacterial disease behind their counterparts from Somalia, Ethiopia, Myanmar, and Liberia.
The study examined about 122,118 TB cases recorded from immigrants from at least 100 countries.
The five immigrant groups posed a higher risk as a result of delayed TB progression within a human system known as latent TB, according to the report.
Latent TB occurs when a person has TB bacteria within their body but the bacteria are present in small numbers and are kept under control by the body’s immune system and do not cause any symptoms. Latent TB may progress to active disease after some years.
“In particular, more recent entrants from Kenya, Myanmar, and Liberia are predicted to face greater TB risks than earlier entrants from these countries," read part of the report.
In view of these findings, the US indicated it immigrants from Kenya and the other four countries will be subjected to increased scrutiny and surveillance.
Kenya records about 160,000 cases of TB annually, making it among the top 30 countries with the highest TB burden in the world.