Breaking News Africa: Kenya Issues Ebola Virus Alert
InformAfrica – Information gathered from Kenya News Agency states that in order to prevent the Ebola virus from spreading into Kenya, a 24 hour screening of travelers from Uganda is now in effect.
According to Kenya News Agency, a 24 hour screening of travellers from Uganda at the frontier office at Malaba border post has been ordered as a measure to check Ebola spreading into Kenya.
Speaking on behalf of Teso North District Disease Surveillance and Response Committee, the Medical Officer of Health Dr. Melisa Lutomia informed the press that the number of medical staff attached to the frontier office has been increased to enable them operate in shifts during the day and night.
“This is just a precautionary measure since this is a border district and Malaba town is an entry point for travellers from Uganda. We do not want to take chances as Ebola is a deadly disease. The frontier office must therefore enhance screening of travellers entering Kenya.” Lutomia explained adding that the immigration officer must ensure travellers pass through the frontier office.
She revealed that all health facilities in the district have been put on high alert and have been advised to have a high index of suspicion whenever a patient presents signs and symptoms similar to those of Ebola.
Dr. Lutomia said that health care workers and the community will be sensitized on the signs and symptoms of Ebola to enable them report on any suspicious cases amidst them.
She urged the public to prioritize their health and avoid habits like shaking hands or coming into contact with blood and bodily fluids from other persons which may lead to one contracting the deadly virus.
The disease has been confirmed in Kibaale district in Uganda and has so far claimed 14 lives in the area.
Ebola, which manifests itself as a hemorrhagic fever, is highly infectious and kills quickly. It was first reported in 1976 in Congo and is named for the river where it was recognized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Scientists don’t know the natural reservoir of the virus, but they suspect the first victim in an Ebola outbreak gets infected through contact with an infected animal, such as a monkey.
The virus can be transmitted in several ways, including through direct contact with the blood of an infected person. During communal funerals, for example, when the bereaved come into contact with an Ebola victim, the virus can be contracted, officials said, warning against unnecessary contact with suspected cases of Ebola.
Credit: Kenya News Agency