Kenya investigates patient with Ebola symptoms

Family members of that person developed the same symptoms and also died. They now include the 3-year-old brother of the child who died in Uganda after traveling from Beni, sparking the need for a reassessment from WHO and the International Health Regulations Emergency committee in Geneva.

Vaccination of those contacts and health workers with a Merck experimental vaccine is to start on Saturday, he said.

And, in recent days, it reached Uganda, where several cases have been recorded, all in people who had come across the border from Congo.

"There are those in the community who say that people are being bewitched".

The World Health Organisation cites mistrust of authorities in Congo, with attacks on healthcare workers and patients avoiding treatment centres, as major factor in the failure so far to contain the Ebola outbreak. They were then transferred to Bwera, it is believed.

The implementation by the United Nations and partners of more coordinated measures to reduce security threats, mitigate security risks, and create an enabling environment for public health operations is welcomed and encouraged by the Committee as an essential platform for accelerating disease-control efforts.

There are Ebola screening centers along the major entry and exit points, including the border with DRC.

Ugandan health teams 'are not panicking, ' Henry Mwebesa, a physician and the national director of health services, told The Associated Press.

This is even as the results from a 36-year-old woman with symptoms similar to those of the haemorrhagic fever turned out negative. "'It is not going to go beyond" the patient's family.

People coming from Congo wash their hands with chlorinated water to prevent the spread of infection, at the Mpondwe border crossing with Congo, in western Uganda Friday, June 14, 2019.

"Given that we are still seeing daily numbers of cases in the double digits and we do not have adequate surveillance, this indicates the outbreak is a persistent regional risk", she said. Still, it concluded that the outbreak is a health emergency only in the DRC and neighbouring region but does not meet all three criteria for a PHEIC under the IHR.

The outcome of the last epidemic shows the urgency of preventative action.

Ebola virus disease is a severe illness that is spread through contact with the body fluids such as vomit, blood and faeces of a person sick with the disease.

In April, an expert committee of the WHO decided that DR Congo's outbreak, while of "deep concern", was not yet a global health emergency.

The outbreak met some of the criteria for a global emergency as it was both an extraordinary event and risked worldwide spread.

The Ministry of Health has now confirmed that the suspected case of Ebola, reported in Kericho Sunday night, was a false alarm.

"I would like to alert the public to the existence of a threat of an Ebola epidemic in our country following the outbreak of this disease in Uganda."

How bad is the situation in DRC?

One case was detected in Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom, respectively.

In total, 1,440 people have died during this outbreak, which began last August in North Kivu and Ituri provinces.

  • Joanne Flowers