Panic as woman dies of Ebola-like symptoms at KNH

December 22, 2011 10:11 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 22 – A 29-year-old woman died of suspected Ebola attack at the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi where she had been rushed for emergency treatment on Thursday morning.
Medics at the hospital said the woman was accompanied by three people-her father, a taxi driver and another male- were quarantined soon after she passed away.
“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 told reporters at the hospital. The woman was identified as Galdy’s Muthoni.
Dr Wafula said they had not authoritatively confirmed if she died of Ebola but he warned that the symptoms she displayed before she died are not of a normal disease.
“From her symptoms, this is not a common disease, we are taking all precautions and the necessary tests are being carried out,” he added, declining to confirm it is Ebola.
A team from the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) were conducting an investigation to determine the exact cause of the death.
“The results will be out in 24 hours. We do not want speculate but we will let you know tomorrow (Friday) what it is,” Dr Wafula said.
The three others who had accompanied the deceased were isolated at the Mbagathi district hospital where they will also undergo tests.
Capital News has learnt that the deceased woman was working at a hotel in downtown Nairobi.
Her sister Racheal told Capital News that she was well until Thursday morning when she complained of sharp pains all over the body and a headache before she started bleeding profusely.
“I can’t believe my sister is dead. She was well until when she was sent to buy groceries for the hotel where she worked,” Rachael said.
A spokesman for the Kenyatta National Hospital Simon Ithai told reporters that a team of medical personnel had been dispatched to the hotel where the woman worked and at her home for further analysis.
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.


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