17 June 2019

Kenya: Kisumu Sets Up Quarantine Ward Amid Heightened Vigilance Over Ebola

Photo: Gaitano Pessa/Daily Nation
Travelers are screened for the Ebola virus before getting into Kenya at the Busia One Stop Border Post on June 12, 2019, following three confirmed cases in Kasese, western Uganda.

Kisumu — An isolation ward has been set up at the Kisumu Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital following a suspected case of Ebola in neighbouring Kericho County.

A female patient on transit from Malaba was quarantined at the Kericho County Referral Hospital after she developed symptoms health officials feared could be linked to Ebola, a highly disease that claimed two lives in Uganda last week.

Kisumu County acting Chief Executive Committee Member for Health, Nerry Achar, on Monday said the isolation ward is ready for any eventuality.

Achar said a team of medics are also on standby to attend to any case that may be reported.

He noted that his office is in contact with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in Kisumu as part of measures put in place to contain any outbreak.

Achar told residents not to panic and report any case should they notice symptoms liked to Ebola which include excessive sweating.

Confirming the isolation of a patient in Kericho, the county's head of communication, Timothy Kemei, issued statement to newsrooms Monday morning saying samples of the said patient had been taken to KEMRI for analysis with results due in 24 hours.

The county assured that all necessary precautionary measures had been taken to prevent an outbreak.

Kemei however pointed out that the quarantine procedure was initiated as a measure of caution and that the symptoms exhibited by the patient may as well be connected to a disease other than Ebola.

Kenyan health officials were last week put on high alert since reports of an outbreak in neighbouring Uganda where two people died of the disease.

The patients who died in Uganda had reportedly visited a relative in the Democratic Republic of Congo who was diagnosed with Ebola.

The World Health Organization (WHO) in Uganda confirmed two samples had tested positive for Ebola.

"Two more samples were sent to UVRI (Uganda Virus Research Institute) and have tested positive. We, therefore, have three confirmed cases of Ebola in Uganda," the WHO Uganda posted on its Twitter account, citing a briefing from Ugandan Health Minister Ruth Achieng.

The agency commenced a ring vaccination in Uganda's Kasese district where 43 persons suspected to have come into contact with infected persons were immunized.

The Ebola virus spreads through contact with the blood, body fluids or secretions of an infected person.

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