Panic of an Ebola outbreak in Western Kenya

Ebola gear – Preparing for the Virus

Siaya residents are a worried lot as anxiety gripped the better part of the day with the latest reports of a reported case of a 27-year-old man who was admitted to hospital with symptoms similar to those of the deadly Ebola virus.  The man, who was urgently put in a separate solitary ward in Siaya District Hospital, was admitted early Wednesday morning with excess blood oozing from his gums. Medical Superintendent Jacktone Omoto said, “He’s also passing bloody urine. We have already sent blood samples to the Kenya Medical Research Institute in Siaya for testing and results are expected to be out earliest Friday.” According to Omoto, those were symptoms of the hemorrhagic fever currently affecting the neighboring Uganda.

With the fear of the outbreak, Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale made claims in parliament insisting that the matter should be made public by issuing a ministerial statement for Kenyans to be alerted. Speaking in parliament, Khalwale said, “We have received a media alert that a case of Ebola has been reported in Siaya.” The house Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende consequently directed the Minister for Public Health to issue a statement on the issue saying that the matter was of ‘great public interest.’

Meanwhile, the government has formed a national taskforce mandated to respond to any possible outbreak in the country as the deadly virus is reported to continually sweep over Uganda, raising fears of its possibility to spread to Kenya. The Director of Public Health Dr. Shahnaaz Sharif made an announcement on Wednesday saying, “The Taskforce will monitor the situation and advise the government on Ebola. Similar committees have been formed at the border districts with Uganda.”

The doctor also said that labs in the Kenya Institute Medical Research (KEMRI) had been readily prepared for any tests based on Ebola outbreak cases. This according to Dr. Shahnaaz is meant to secure the country and reassure the public over any possible spread of the hemorrhagic disease. “All facilities have been provided with contingency drugs and isolation facilities have been set up in high risk facilities,” he said.

However, the Ministry of Health stated that it’s not pleased with the mass screenings of travelers making inroads from the neighboring Uganda, saying that focus should be drifted to public campaign to ensure that those with Ebola symptoms are urgently reported for medical examinations to the nearest institutions.

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