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Panic as Siaya man exhibits Ebola symptoms

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 1 – Anxiety has gripped Siaya residents after a 27-year-old man was admitted to hospital with symptoms of the deadly Ebola virus.

The man, who was immediately put in a solitary ward in Siaya District Hospital, was admitted Wednesday morning with excessive blood oozing from his gums.

“He is also passing bloody urine,” said Siaya Medical Superintendent Jacktone Omoto who said that was a symptom associated with the haemorrhagic fever.

Omoto said the patient’s blood sample was sent to the Kenya Medical Research Institute in Siaya for testing and the results are expected on Friday at the earliest.

Director of Public Health Shahnaaz Sharif has in the meantime called for calm as the country awaits the results of the tests.

“Don’t panic, I will let you know when we have a case,” he said.

On Monday, the government put on high alert Provincial Directors of Health and District Medical Officers in Western, Nyanza and Rift valley which border Uganda over the outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease.

Public Health Minister Beth Mugo is expected to give a ministerial statement on the specific measures the government has taken since the outbreak was reported in neighbouring Uganda about three weeks ago.

“Mr Speaker I would like her to clarify if she is aware that the disease took a mere three weeks to move from Western Uganda to Kampala which is at the centre of the town and that it is quite possible that it might take a similar period or even a shorter period for it to come to the Eastern part of Uganda and therefore Kenya,” Ikolomani Member of Parliament Boni Khalwale said when he asked for the Ministerial statement.

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In May last 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.

Ebola is a viral haemorrhagic fever and one of the most dangerous 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.


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