Relief as government rules out Ebola following death at KNH

Dr Shariff reports that lab tests turned out negative on Ebola /FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 23–Laboratory tests to establish the cause of death of a 29 year old lady who on Thursday bled to death have ruled out Ebola.

The investigations done by the Kenya Medical Research Institute and Centres for Disease Control also came out negative for all other viral hemorrhagic fever viruses like Rift Valley fever, yellow fever, dengue and Marburg.

Director of Public Health Dr Shahnaaz Sharif said on Friday that the tests also confirmed that the patient, Gladys Muthoni was not bleeding from eyes, nose and mouth as had earlier been indicated.

“What she was having was vomiting blood, what is known as hematemesis so when the doctor saw her first, he thought she was bleeding from the skin but she was actually bleeding from the stomach,” Dr Sharif explained.

“It may have been an ulcer or the other thing we are suspecting she may have had esophageal varices,” he went on to say.

He added that three people- her father, a taxi driver and another male-who had accompanied her to hospital were on Friday morning discharged from hospital where they had been isolated.

“The issue is coming into contact not with the patient but with body secretions and that’s why we had to make sure that we disinfect the taxi and the hotel where she worked,” he said.

The 29 year old woman died on arrival at the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi where she had been rushed for emergency treatment on Thursday morning.

“At about 10.20 am, a woman was brought in a taxi and she was accompanied by three people. She was bleeding heavily from parts of her body and she died even before she could be taken out of the car,” Dr Masika Wafula, a Consultant on Infectious diseases had told reporters on Thursday.

Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF) is a viral haemorrhagic fever and one of the most virulent viral diseases known to humankind.

There is no known treatment or vaccine for Ebola, which is transmitted through close personal contact. It kills up to 90 percent of victims.

Its initial symptoms include persistent fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat which is usually followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rashes on the body as well as external bleeding.

In May this year, the Ebola virus killed a 12-year-old girl in Uganda prompting the Health Ministry in Kenya to issue an alert on people living at the border.

  • Dsonguta

    We still do not have paramedics in Kenya to respond to emergency cases like this one. Why use a tax which will get stuck in traffic jam. It is high time the Ministry of Health and the Nairobi city council put their acts together to improve health services in the city of Nairobi and other big cities in Kenya if Kenya has to realise her dream of moving to the next level in 2030.