Kenya’s health officials in Kakamega County, have commenced an investigation on a suspected Ebola case on patient who had recently travelled to eastern Uganda to visit relatives.
The Mumias West Disease Surveillance Coordinator Mr. Boaz Gichana said in a statement released on Friday that the patient is currently in St Mary’s Hospital isolation unit waiting for laboratory tests.
The Kenyan government had earlier issued an Ebola alert and called for screening of all travelers at the entry points on the border with Uganda following an outbreak in the neighboring country.
Dr Hilda Abwao, the director of disease surveillance at St Mary’s Hospital, Mumias, said the disease carries all signs of malaria. Abwao explained that the only symptom related to Ebola from the patient was bleeding from body openings.
The main symptoms of the disease, according to medical experts, include: fever, sore throat aches and pains in the joints as well as in the muscles, abdominal pains, headache, weakness and fatigue.
“This could be a result of other diseases in the body. We have taken the samples to the government laboratory to reveal what it is,” Dr Abwao said.
the neighbouring South Sudan and Tanzania also heightened surveillance, especially at their borders with Uganda, while Rwanda has begun screening travelers at the borders to prevent the cross-border spread of Ebola.
The WHO said new infections over the past week continued at a stable pace, as security incidents continued to plague the response.
DRC had earlier announced an Ebola outbreak. However, it has this week announced an end to its 15th outbreak after no more new cases of the disease were reported for the last 42 days.
Currently, the neighbouring country Uganda is battling a rise in infections and deaths caused by the Sudan strain of Ebola. This strain currently has no vaccine and health officials have urged residents to adhere to measures to prevent infection and spread of the virus.
More than 1,500 people have died this year due to the disease outbreak across Africa. Recently, 9 people died from their Ebola infections, 2 in community settings in Beni and 7 in Ebola treatment centers, boosting the outbreak’s fatality count to 1,540.
Yesterday health officials from the health ministry and its outbreak response partners met for a second time with community members in an area of Beni where two response teams were attacked on Jun 23. The talks were geared toward better understanding the community’s concerns and toward engaging their support for Ebola response steps.
The Busia governor Paul Otuoma called on locals to remain vigilant. Addressing members of the public at ATC ground, Dr Otuoma warned locals against needlessly crossing over into Uganda.
“Being that we are at the border, we should be very careful. Let us take this issue seriously. I am told a case has been reported in Kakamega and they all pass through Busia, so we must be vigilant and take care of ourselves.” Otuoma warned.
However, the challenge is that porous routes at Sofia and Marachi in Busia are still being used to gain access into the country.
Ebola is a contagious disease transmitted from person to person through contact with body fluids.