18 June 2019

Kenya: We're Prepared to Tackle Ebola, CS Sicily Kariuki Assures Kenyans

The Ministry of Health has deployed special teams of health workers to the country's entry points following a suspected case of the Ebola viral disease in the country.

This is even as the results from a 36-year-old woman with symptoms similar to those of the haemorrhagic fever turned out negative.

The woman, who had travelled from Malaba town in Busia County on the Kenya-Uganda border to see her husband, had been quarantined at the Kericho County Referral Hospital.

ISOLATION

"Blood samples from the woman currently admitted in the isolation unit have been confirmed to be negative for Ebola and other viral haemorrhagic fevers," said Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki.

Speaking yesterday when she toured the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Ms Kariuki said that although there have no confirmed cases of Ebola, health workers are on high alert.

CONTINGENCY PLAN

"We have also put in place a national Ebola preparedness and response contingency plan to guide the implementation of prevention and response activities in the event of an outbreak," she said.

Four people were on Monday quarantined in Kericho on suspicions that they might be harbouring the viral infection.

Meanwhile, counties in Western, Nyanza and the Rift Valley have put in place precautionary emergency measures to combat the disease, which has been reported in western Uganda.

BLEEDING

News of the woman who was first admitted to Siloam Hospital in Kericho town on Sunday before being transferred to the county's main hospital had on Monday sent the country into a frenzy, forcing CS Kariuki to allay the public's fears.

"We do not need to panic over what has been reported because we are making sure to screen everyone who comes into the country through our border points," she said.

Ebola symptoms include severe headache, fever, fatigue and abdominal pain and unexplained excessive bleeding.

Elizabeth Merab, Agewa Magut, Vitalis Kimutai, Elizabeth Ojina, Gaitano Pessa and Ruth Mbula

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