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Fear as patient isolated over flu signs

By | July 17th 2009

By Dedan Okanga and Winnie Mugo

There was panic in Eldoret after a patient was quarantined for what health workers say is a disease with symptoms similar to swine flu.

But Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital allayed fears the dreaded flu had struck town.

Fears arose after a woman of undisclosed nationality was isolated at the hospital on suspicion she suffered from the viral influenza.

"We had treated her earlier for malaria, but she came back two days ago with symptoms similar to those of H1N1," said Dr Omar Ali, the hospital’s acting director.

The woman, according to the medics, was isolated as the hospital awaited confirmatory tests for the H1N1 virus.

"We are treating her as a suspect and cannot make a diagnosis without confirmatory tests usually done in Kemri, Nairobi," added Omar.

The authorities withheld her name and background, but revealed she had arrived in the country recently. The acting director said the hospital was on high alert and had improved its preparedness.

"The Government has supplied us with enough medicine and protective gear for staff and others who may be exposed to the viral influenza," said Omar.

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