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Suspected Ebola case at JKIA tests negative

By CYRUS OMBATI & ALLY JAMAH | Sun,Oct 12 2014 12:33:00 EAT

NAIROBI, KENYA: A Suspected Ebola or Marburg disease case at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) has tested negative.

Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia confirmed that a passenger who died on arrival from Juba, South Sudan did not have traces of the two viral infections.

Earlier Sunday there was panic at JKIA, after a female passenger from Juba died on arrival.

It was not clear what caused the death but medical officials embarked on immediate tests to establish the cause.

Witnesses said they saw medical officials in full gear headed towards the Port Clinic where the patient was rushed to before dying. 

The airport is one of the areas that are on alert for any case of Ebola that has killed more than 4,000 people in West Africa.

Kenya Airways suspended its flights to parts of West Africa for fear of the contagious disease.

At JKIA, senior government officials including, Director of Medical Services Dr Nicholas Muraguri, Principal Secretary for health and Cabinet Secretary were present to supervise a major operation that was underway.

“We are waiting for more personnel from Kenya Medical Research Institute to carry out tests. If we establish it was Ebola we may be forced to recall all passengers who were on board the plane,” said a senior medical official who asked not to be named.

There were limited and controlled accessibility of the clinic where the passenger's body lay since Saturday night when she died.

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