Kenya on high alert after new Ebola outbreak in West Africa

By Samuel Ouma

Following the Ebola outbreak in Guinea and Congo, the Kenyan government has heightened surveillance in Busia and Malaba border towns on the Kenya-Uganda border.

Public health officers at Malaba have intensified screening leaving nothing to chance.

The Manager of the port health office of Malaba, Paul Bii, told the journalists that all travelers arriving in Kenya from the great lake region, including truck drivers from DRC should undergo screening before entering the country.

Rooms to be used as isolation centres in the event of suspected cases have also been set apart.

Consequently, security has been beefed at the borders to prevent illegal entry into the East African nation.

Health authorities in Guinea on February 14 reported 3 Ebola cases in the rural community of Gouéké in N’Zerekore prefecture, the first time since 2016.

Initial reports further revealed that a nurse from the local health facility died on January 28 of the deadly disease. Six others who attended her burial later exhibited Ebola-like symptoms. Two out of the six also succumbed to the disease, and the remaining four were hospitalized.

On February 16, the World Health Organization (WHO) told six African countries to be alert for possible Ebola infections.

The countries include Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.

 “We have already alerted the six countries around, including of course Sierra Leone and Liberia, and they are moving very fast to prepare and be ready and to look for any potential infection,” the WHO’s Margaret Harris told a Geneva briefing on Tuesday.

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