, NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 9 – A suspected case of Ebola in Kenya has tested negative and a man who had been admitted to the Kenyatta National Hospital with suspicious symptoms was diagnosed with food poisoning instead.
Director of Medical Services Nicholas Muraguri says laboratory tests conducted at the Kenya Medical Research Institute have found out that the passenger was free of Ebola virus and has improved markedly on treatment.
“The reports have confirmed that the traveler was suffering from food poisoning and will be discharged tomorrow (Sunday),” he said.
The traveler who arrived in Nairobi on Friday evening on transit to DR Congo from the Entebbe International Airport in Uganda was noted to be unwell with symptoms suggestive of Ebola and was taken to Kenyatta National Hospital where he was admitted for evaluation.
“The traveler was suffering from vomiting, diarrhea, Stomach pain, headache and fever which is symptoms of the virus. As part of our Ebola outbreak prevention and response strategy, the passenger was promptly taken to KNH,” he explained.
The DMS was quick to assuage fears, saying that Ebola virus is not transmitted through air but only through direct contact with body fluids of Ebola patients such as blood, vomitus, urine saliva and sweat.
On his part Health Principal Secretary Fred Sigor said that since the confirmation of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, all ports of entry have been screening all incoming passengers from West Africa.
“The Port Health Services have been put on standby at all major airports to ensure the country is safe from the deadly disease,” he affirmed.
Sigor said his Ministry is working closely with other stakeholders who include Kenya Airports Authority, Kenya Airways, Immigration Department and Nairobi County health services to ensure that the country remains free from Ebola.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the Ebola virus an international public health emergency.
Liberia has shut its borders to curb the further spread of the Ebola virus and Nigeria’s largest airline, Arik Air, suspended its flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone after flying a Liberian man infected with the virus into Nigeria last week.
Since March, there have been 1,201 cases of Ebola and 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to WHO.