NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 17 – A female patient with Ebola-like symptoms has been quarantined at the Kericho County Referral Hospital as health officials await laboratory test results.
The county’s head of communication, Timothy Kemei, said in a statement to newsrooms Tuesday morning samples of the said patient had been taken to the Kenya Medical Research Institute for analysis with results due within 24 hours.
The county assured that all necessary precautionary measures had been taken to prevent an outbreak.
“The County Government assures the public that the County Referral Hospital is capable and well equipped to ensure the proper isolation of the patient and the protection of other hospital users and calls on everyone to maintain calm and patience,” the statement read in part.
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.
“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,” he said.
Kenyan health officials had been put 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.
Since the disease was discovered in DRC in 1976, the worst epidemic was recorded between 2014 and 2016 claiming over 11,000 lives in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.