The Star (Nairobi)

31 July 2012

Kenya Readies Border for Ebola Outbreak

The death toll from an outbreak of Ebola in villages in western Uganda has risen.President Yoweri Museveni confirmed that the deadly virus has hit ... ( Resource: Uganda: Ebola Death Toll Rises

The Ministry of Public Health has supplied health facilities near the Uganda border with face masks and goggles among other protective clothings after an Ebola outbreak was confirmed in the neighbouring country.

The Ministry has advised the medics to treat all flu cases with 'suspicion'. Dr Ian Njeru, head of disease surveillance and response at the ministry said although the outbreak in Western Uganda was contained, Kenya will still go ahead with emergency prevention.

Ugandan government officials and the World Health Organisation confirmed the outbreak on Saturday. Health officials said at least 20 people were infected and of those 14 have died. The disease, named after a small river in DR Congo, has struck Uganda several times. The disease killed 37 people in 2007 and at least 170 in 2000.

Director of Public Health Shahnaaz Sharif said no case of Ebola has ever been reported in Kenya. The last suspected case was in December 2011, where a 29-year-old woman died at Kenyatta National Hospital. The disease was confirmed as hematemesis, the excessive vomiting of blood. Public Health officials said they have also formed a committee to assess how the country is prepared in case of an outbreak. "We would like people to be alert. We advise health workers to take blood samples and bring them to the Kenya Medical Research Institute and practise barrier nursing," dr Njeru said.

Ebola patients experience flu, muscle pains, weakness, fever, headache and sore throat. Later the patients present abdominal pains, diarrhea and organ failure and bleeding in a few cases. "There's no treatment for Ebola. We can only prevent it by isolating cases and trying to manage it," he said. The disease is transmitted by direct contact with the body fluids and tissues of infected persons. It can also be transmitted by handling sick or dead infected wild animals. In Uganda, 12 of the dead belong to one family.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2012 The Star. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.