Kenya: Lab Tests Turn Negative for Ebola After 4 Patients Quarantined in Kericho

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.

Nairobi — Laboratory tests have confirmed that the patient quarantined at the Kericho County Referral Hospital is not suffering from the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

A statement from the Ministry of Health said the results from the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) have confirmed that the symptoms exhibited by the patient are not consistent with Ebola.

"The result of the tests carried out by KEMRI laboratories on blood samples from the 36-year-old lady who is currently admitted in the isolation unit at Kericho County Referral Hospital have been confirmed negative for EVD and other Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers," Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki stated.

The 36-year-old woman had travelled from Busia border to see her husband in Kericho.

Also quarantined is her husband and two of their friends, but Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki has assured that there is no cause for alarm.

The lady was quarantined at the Kericho County Referral Hospital Monday morning after exhibiting Ebola-like symptoms.

Kariuki had earlier in the day conducted an inspection tour at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to ascertain the facility's preparedness to screen arriving passengers.

Kericho County had said 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.

"It is important to note that the symptoms that have been exhibited by the patient can be indicative of any other medical condition and so there is no confirmed case of Ebola in Kericho at the moment," the county's head of communication Timothy Kemei said.

The ministry however said, that health officials will remain on high alert since reports of an outbreak in neighbouring Uganda last week where two people died of the disease.

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

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

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