By Samuel Ouma| @journalist_27
Fear has gripped residents of Kericho County in Kenyan Rift Valley after a patient with symptoms similar to those exhibited by Ebola patients was admitted to the county hospital.
The female patient whose name is yet to be unveiled was taken to Kericho County referral hospital on Sunday evening. She complained of headache, body fever, puffy face, diarrhea and nausea as per the hospital administrator.
She has been isolated to avoid contact with other persons including health officers. The woman had traveled from Malaba, Western Kenya at the border of Kenya and Uganda to see her spouse.
‘The patient has been placed in isolation and blood samples sent to the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in Nairobi for further analysis. The preliminary test results are expected to be ready within the next 12 and 24 hours,” said the County Health Department Chief Officer Dr. David Ekuam.
Dr. Ekuam has quelled the anxiety assuring the public that the hospital is well equipped and is capable of handling such cases to ensure protection of other hospital users.
“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 reiterated.
Last week the government intensified screening for the killer disease at Busia One Stop border, at the entry point to Uganda, after the eruption of the disease was reported in the neighbouring country.
All travelers from Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC and Southern Sudan were being screened. Health Officers employed use of thermo-guns to check temperature levels in order to evade direct contact with travelers.
Two family members, a woman and her grandson were reported to have died of Ebola at Kasese district, western of Uganda after travelling to Democratic Republic of Congo to look after the ailing family member who later died of the disease.
The woman’s other grandson, aged three, was also infected and he has been put under intensive care unit.
On August 1, 2018 DRC declared its second-biggest Ebola epidemic in the north east of the country. The disease has consumed thousands of lives.
Ebola is characterized by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat.