Woman isolated in Kericho over suspected Ebola case

Ebola response team dressed in protective gears examining the isolated patient. [Standard]
A patient from Malaba in Western Kenya has been admitted to Kericho County Referral Hospital under isolation as the country remains alert following reported cases of Ebola deaths in Uganda.

The female patient said to be presenting Ebola-like symptoms was admitted to Siloam Hospital on Sunday night.

Dr David Ekuwam, the county's chief health officer, said the blood samples from the patient had been sent to the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) for further analysis.

"It's important to note that that the symptoms that have been exhibited by the patient can be indicative of any other medical condition and there is no confirmed case of Ebola at this moment," said Dr Ekuwam.

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The preliminary test results are expected to be ready within 12 to 24 hours.

According to sources, the patient was from Malaba where she resides and was traveling to Kericho to see her husband.

According to the hospital administrator Margaret Okiro, the patient was complaining of headache, body fever, puffy face, some diarrhea, and nausea.

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On June 11, 2019, Uganda announced that a child had been positively diagnosed with Ebola, the first cross-border case in the since the outbreak began.

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) declared its tenth outbreak of Ebola in 40 years on August 1, 2018.

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The outbreak is centred in the northeast of the country. With the number of cases passing 1,000, it is now by far the country's largest-ever Ebola outbreak. It is also the second-biggest Ebola epidemic ever recorded, behind the West Africa outbreak of 2014-2016.

Ebola is often characterised by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat.

The victims are then hit with vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver functions and, in some cases, both internal and external bleeding. Laboratory findings include low white blood cell and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes.

The fever has an incubation period of two to 21 days. This means someone can be infected with the virus and not yet know that he or she is sick for up to 21 days when the symptoms begin to appear.

According to the CDC, a blood test can only be positive for Ebola once symptoms appear.

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However, it takes 42 days for a country to be declared free of Ebola transmission. WHO doubles the 21-day incubation period of the virus to ensure no new infections are happening.

Transmission

It is thought that fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are natural Ebola virus hosts. Humans get the virus when they get into close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals.

You can also get the virus when you touch the objects that have been contaminated with body fluids (like blood, faeces, vomit) from an infected person.

SEE ALSO :First two Ebola cases confirmed in Congo's South Kivu

Health care workers have frequently been infected while treating Ebola patients. Burial ceremonies where mourners have direct contact with the body of the deceased person have also led to the spread.

WHO notes, people remain infectious as long as their blood contains the virus.

Cure

There is no known cure for the disease just yet, but scientists are scrambling to find one. Patients are, however, put on supportive care (rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids) while doctors treat specific symptoms to improve survival.

Vaccine?

An experimental Ebola vaccine, rVSV-ZEBOV, was tried out in Guinea in 2015. Among the 5837 people who received the vaccine, no Ebola cases were recorded 10 days or more after vaccination.

The vaccine is currently in use in DRC.

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EbolaKericho County hospitalDr David EkuwamKemriWoman