Hospital isolates 4 people over suspected Ebola case in Kericho County
By Francis Kaivilu
A 36-year old woman has been isolated at Kericho County Referral Hospital after she expressed signs and symptoms of Ebola infection upon being admitted on the 16th June, 2019. The hospital officials say that the woman was travelling from Malaba to Nairobi.
During a press brief on Monday morning, Shadrack Mutai, the Kericho county minister for Health said that at the moment they couldn’t confirm that the latter was suffering from Ebola but they were waiting for a report from experts who were doing analysis on some sample taken from the suspected Ebola victim. Mutai said that the samples were being analysed at Kenya Medical Research Institute(KEMRI), Kisumu branch.
The county executive said that the woman had features of the highly infectious disease such as vomiting, diarrhoea, severe headaches as well as extreme body fever.
Mutai has urged the public to remain calm as they wait for the results from the experts later in the day, who were working on it since the woman’s condition had not yet been confirmed to be Ebola.
The county Health and Sanitation docket boss, told members of the press that as county government, they were ready in collaboration with the national government to contain the Ebola infection if the condition was confirmed to be it. He said that the hospital has trained personnel on dealing with Ebola cases and with aid from the national government, they would ruthlessly deal with the condition.
According to Kericho county governor Professor Paul Chepkwony, some other three people, who Sharptip News learnt that were the ailing woman’s husband and other two people who assisted the husband in taking his wife to the hospital had been taken to the same county facility and isolated as well in an effort to curb farther infections though they had not displayed any symptoms of Ebola.
Chepkwony said that the health officials were working on the isolated four people to pinpoint the real infection that the woman was suffering from though he said that he was very sure that there was no single Ebola case in his county at the moment.
During a press briefing, the governor congratulated the hospital workers for their swift job which they did on Monday morning of diagnosing the woman with the symptoms and isolating her immediately from the other patients in the hospital wards.
Chepkwony has said that they have involved an Ebola expert from Unilever Central Hospital to assist in the diagnosis process and that they believe all will be well. He also echoed his Health executive Shadrack Mutai by urging the county residents to remain calm as the experts do their part.
“In case the condition is confirmed to be Ebola, we have enough personnel, isolation room as well as Ebola protective gear to deal with it”, the governor said during the briefing.
A few hours later when the nation was at shock over the said invasion of the deadly disease in the country, the Cabinet Secretary for the ministry of Health and Sanitation in the national government Sicily Kariuki, has proved to kenyans beyond no reasonable doubt that at the time of her briefing, there was no reported Ebola case in the country.
Kariuki said this during a press brief immediately after she finished inspecting on how the passengers and travellers from different destinations were screened for the Ebola symptoms at the country’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport(JKIA) on Monday afternoon. Kariuki said that the screening personnel used automated scanners to detect any symptoms of the killer infection.
The two main targets are travellers from Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) and Uganda where there are many reported cases of Ebola infection.
The Cabinet Secretary said that the Kericho case was not Ebola and there was no need of raising alarm on the same, adding that they have deployed two hundred and fifty nine(259) staffs at different points of entry to curb any Ebola case.
The country’s Health and Sanitation docket boss has asked the members of the public to remain vigilant on any Ebola symptoms as well as well as the members of the press. Kariuki has told the members of the press to be careful with the information they receive from different sources and be keen before they air or publish it so that they may not cause an untold panic to the public.
” A 36 year old lady who had travelled from Malaba town on the Kenya-Uganda border, presented herself on the 16th June, 2019, to a health facility in Kericho after experiencing symptoms of headache, fever and vomiting. The Rapid Surveillance and Response team which has been set up to respond has examined the patient, who is in stable condition and has confirmed that she does not meet the case definition of Ebola. Allow me to confirm to Kenyans that the patient does not meet the case definition of Ebola”, the cabinet secretary confirmed during the press brief at JKIA on Monday.
She too added that precautionary measures however, have been put in place including isolation of the patient and submission of blood samples to KEMRI for testing.
“The results of the same are expected by four o’clock this Monday evening. I would like to reassure all Kenyans and visitors that we don’t have any cases of Ebola in the country and indeed the ministry has undertaken and continues to implement the preparedness measures “, Kariuki mentioned during the brief.
Among the measures that the cabinet secretary said the ministry has set up to curb Ebola are as follows:-
• An alert to all health workers and the general public has been given to enhance surveillance measures.
• National Ebola preparedness and response contagious plan has been developed which is guiding the implementation of Ebola prevention and response activities in the event of an outbreak.
•Coordination of preparedness and response intervention through a multi-agency Ebola preparedness and response committee coordinated and chaired by the Director General of Health.
•The ministry has also established a Rapid Response Team in Headquarter and teams in the counties comprising of medical specialists in disease control and laboratory scientists who are trained in investigation and testing of Ebola virus disease.
• Screening of incoming passengers and travellers which is done using automated scanners as well as hand held thermal guns at the main airports and other ports of entry including Wilson Airport(even though Wilson Airport is handling domestic traffic).
• Finally, facilities for isolation of any suspected cases, case management and infection prevention and control exist in major facilities including Kenyatta National Hospital(KNH), Jomo Kenyatta International Airport(JKIA) among others.
The cabinet secretary also said that the ministry has also prepositioned personal protective equipment and other supplies including pharmaceutical, non pharmaceutical and other hygiene supplies and examination equipment in all points of entry to the country.
Sharptip News has learnt that the following are some of the key symptoms of Ebola.
√ Severe headaches
Cs Kariuki has given two hotlines to the public to report any cases or symptoms of Ebola to the Ministry of Health Emergency Operations Center. The hotlines are:-
* 0732 35 35 35
* 0729 47 14 14
According to WHO more than 1,300 people have died of Ebola infection in Democratic Republic of Congo and with the latest Uganda’s two people perishing of the same which brought our country’s Ministry of Health and Sanitation to a very high vigilant zone.