Samples taken a female patient admitted to Kericho County Referral hospital with Ebola-like systems have tested negative, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.
The samples were tested at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI).
The 36-year-old lady with symptoms “similar to those exhibited by Ebola patients” is being treated in an isolation ward at the hospital after being admitted on Sunday evening.
“The result of the tests carried out by the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) laboratories on the blood samples from the 36-year-old lady who is currently admitted in the isolation unit at the Kericho County Referral Hospital have been confirmed to be NEGATIVE for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and other Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers” said Health CS Sicily Kariuki.
While assuring of the country’s preparedness to manage the deadly virus, the CS urged members of the public to remain vigilant.
“The Ministry of Health wishes to reiterate to the general public and health facilities that we are prepared in terms of Ebola prevention and response measures and therefore there is no need for panic”
The news had prompted a scare in the wake of reports that the disease has already spread to neighbouring Uganda.
Also quarantined is the patient’s husband and two of their friends.
The government has activated mitigation mechanisms including heightened surveillance along the country’s borders as well as airports.
Speaking earlier during a tour of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the health CS said the country remains alert and well equipped to deal with any threats posed by the disease.
“I wish to reassure all Kenyans and our visitors that we do not have any cases of Ebola and indeed the ministry has undertaken and continues to implement the preparedness measures,” the CS assured during a tour of JKIA port of entry office.
“I wish to reassure all Kenyans and our visitors that we do not have any cases of Ebola and indeed the ministry has undertaken and continues to implement the preparedness measures,” @SicilyKariuki said during a tour of JKIA port of entry office @PDUDelivery @CapitalFMKenya pic.twitter.com/1M1jFWmTPX
— Ministry of Health (@MOH_Kenya) June 17, 2019
In Busia along the Kenya-Uganda common border, authorities remained on high alert.
Busia One Stop Border Post Port Health Services Officer Joshua Arusei saying screening of all travelers entering the country from Uganda and DRC had been intensified to prevent a spillover of the killer disease into the country.
@MOH_Kenya wishes to remind members of the public to remain vigilant. Those with fever, chills, headaches and a history of recent travel to affected countries should present themselves to the nearest health facility Or call 0732353535 and 0729471414 @PDUDelivery pic.twitter.com/dQFB4QvoF9
— Ministry of Health (@MOH_Kenya) June 17, 2019
Ebola virus is an often fatal illness transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
Centre for Disease Control states that a person infected with Ebola is not contagious until symptoms begin with the time from exposure to when signs or symptoms of the disease appear being between 2 to 21 days.
Signs of Ebola include fever and symptoms like severe headache, fatigue, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising. Ebola is spread through direct contact with blood and body fluids, through broken skin or mucous membranes, Blood and body fluids including urine, feaces, saliva, vomit, sweat, and semen of a person who is sick and through Objects like needles that have been contaminated with the blood or body fluids of a person sick with Ebola.
Ebola however is not spread through the air, water, or food. Although there is no approved vaccine available for Ebola, there are ways you can protect yourself against it.
In any suspected case, “One is advised to wash their hands often with soap and water, not to touch the blood or body fluids like urine, feaces, saliva, vomit, sweat, and semen of people who are sick, avoid handling items that may have come in contact with a sick person’s blood or body fluids, like clothes, bedding, needles, or medical equipment and also avoid touching the body of someone who has died of Ebola.
In case you get sick with a fever or other Ebola symptoms, Get medical care right away and notify local health authorities.
So far, over 7,000 lives have been claimed by the disease in West Africa. This week the Ebola virus crossed from the Democratic Republic of Congo into Uganda with Kenya too on high alert.
But WHO still maintains that Ebola outbreak does not constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
The first cases of Ebola were reported in Sudan and Congo in 1976 where over 284 people infections were reported with 53% mortality rate.