Fears of Ebola outbreak as patient admitted in Kenya’s coast

August 14, 2012

MOMBASA, KENYA – Fears gripped Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa on Friday after a truck driver was quarantined at the local hospital.

The patient was admitted that the Aga Khan Hospital after he was suspected to be infected with the deadly Ebola virus, a few days after his arrival from Kampala, Uganda.

Health officials at the Aga Khan Hospital confirmed that the 61- year-old man was admitted at the hospital on Friday as soon as he arrived, and kept in isolation.

The Coast Provincial Director of Public Health and Sanitation Dr. Anisa Omar said the truck driver was admitted and found to be having symptoms of fatigue, sore throat and fever, prompting doctors to seclude him from the rest of the patients at the hospital.

“Yes, it’s true the man was in Kampala from Aug. 3 and when he arrived at the facility, he was found to be having those symptoms, ” Omar said.

He said the truck driver decided to seek medical attention at Agha Khan Hospital where he was isolated from the other patients after being examined by the doctors.

“He is a truck driver and he is likely to have contracted the virus while on his trip. But what I can tell Kenyans is that our doctors are on high alert and that is why they were able to detect the symptoms. We are yet to confirm if indeed it is Ebola,” said Anisa.

The driver only identified as Moses, was examined by doctors at the hospital who said he had symptoms resembling those of Ebola, but tests would be conducted to confirm the same.

Omar said that the patient’s blood samples have been taken to Kenya Medical Research Institute in Nairobi and the results will be relayed as soon as they are back.

She at the same time allayed fears of the virus spreading to other parts of the region urging that the situation was under control.

The incident comes a week after Public Health and Sanitation Minister Beth Mugo assured the country that the government was doing all it can to shield Kenyans from the deadly virus.

The development comes as a team of experts from the UN World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners are supporting the Ugandan government’s response to an Ebola outbreak in the western part of the country.

The initial case was identified on July 28 in a family from the village of Nyanswiga, where 9 of the deaths were recorded. The total number has since risen to more than 15.

The deceased include a clinical officer who attended to a patient, and her 4 month-old child. Nine of the 14 deaths have occurred in a single household, according to WHO.

Both cases were admitted to hospital with fever, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Uganda has previously experienced outbreaks of Ebola fever, but the most recent outbreak was declared over in early 2008.

Last week, fears of an Ebola outbreak gripped the residents of Siaya and Eldoret Counties in Western and northwest Kenya respectively had caused panic in the country after words went round that suspect cases had been detected.

Experts say there is an urgent need to increase public awareness on this deadly disease as well as to put in place as strong surveillance mechanism to allow for proper follow-up of all the cases.

The East African nation has been full alert following the outbreak of the deadly disease in neighboring Uganda last week. The government has since established a taskforce to respond to the Ebola outbreak in neighboring Uganda.

The virus is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, secretions, other bodily fluids or organs of infected persons or animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys and antelopes, and it has an incubation period of two to 21 days.

Sufferers can experience fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headaches and a sore throat, as well as vomiting, diarrhoea, rashes and impaired kidney and liver function. In the most severe cases, the virus leads to both external and internal bleeding.

Source: Xinhuanet


Category: Health alert

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