Ministry of health issues Ebola alert

Ministry of health issues Ebola alert

By Peter Ochieng

The Ministry of Health has issued an Ebola outbreak alert after one person died in Uganda this week.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Health Mutahi Kagwe called on health officials in Counties bordering Uganda to be on the lookout to prevent the Ebola outbreak in Kenya.

He urged Governors to activate rapid response teams, to support the identification of any suspected cases.

He said Kenyans visiting Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) should be extremely careful.

“Whilst we do not wish people to go into any panic, I call on members of the public to take heightened precautions while visiting Uganda as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo,” said Kagwe in the statement.

Kisumu, Busia and Bungoma are some of the Kenyan Counties bordering Uganda, with modes of transport to and out of Uganda being by air, road and water through Lake Victoria.

The CS said screening should be directed towards what he termed as ‘at-risk populations’ including travellers, truck drivers, bush meat handlers and health care workers.

He says generally, Kenyans should watch out for people with Ebola symptoms.

“The general public is also advised to watch out for any person presenting with acute onset of fever and any of the following signs, especially if in contact with persons with a history of travel from Uganda and/or Democratic Republic of Congo within the previous three weeks.”

Ebola is a fatal viral hemorrhagic fever with a high death rate, ranging up to 90 percent in some outbreaks.

Early this week, Uganda’s health ministry announced the country’s first fatality from the highly contagious Ebola virus since 2019, declaring an outbreak in the central district of Mubende.

The East African Country which shares a porous border with DRC has experienced several Ebola outbreaks in the past,t recently in 2019, when at least five people died.

In August 2022, DRC recorded a new case in the Eastern part of the vast Country.

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