Kenya on High Alert Over DRC Ebola Outbreak

Photo: Le Pays
Ebola health workers (file photo).

Kenya is on high alert following an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The Ministry of Health is screening all travellers at entry points including Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Busia and Malaba, Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki said on Wednesday.

"In these places, we have installed Thermal Guns to detect any person with elevated temperatures," said Ms Kariuki said in a written statement.

The CS added that the ministry has established a National Health Emergencies Council to act expeditiously to prevent any importation of Ebola.

Seventeen people in northwest DRC have died from Ebola, the health ministry said on Tuesday, describing the fresh outbreak as a "public health emergency with international impact."

The Ebola virus, which mostly affects humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees), is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.

The average case fatality rate is around 50 per cent.

The Health ministry said it has "taken all necessary measures to respond promptly and effectively to this new epidemic of Ebola in the DRC's national territory".

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