Kenya: Kenya on high alert after fresh Ebola outbreak in DRC

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - Kenya's Health Ministry issued an Ebola Alert on Tuesday following an outbreak of the disease in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), saying the risk of importation remained high due to the use of Kenya as an air transit hub to DRC.

It has also reactivated full screening measures previously in place during the last outbreak in West Africa in 2015.

On 9 May 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) was notified by the DRC Government of an outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Likati health zone, Bas Uele Province, in the northern part of the country bordering Central African Republic. The Likati health zone is around 1,400 km from the capital, Kinshasa.

Kenya's Director of Medical Services, Dr Jackson Kioko, said the ministry issued an EVD alert and reactivated full measures, including the screening of travellers from the central African nation.

"While the ministry is fully aware of the seriousness of Ebola Virus Disease and the risk of importation of the virus to Kenya, we wish to assure the public that the outbreak has occurred in a remote zone in DRC and with timely effective responses having been mounted, the disease is unlikely to spread widely in the region," Kioko said in a statement.

During the disease surveillance period, the ministry said all persons with travel history from and /or through DRC will be required to provide minimum package of information to guide investigations.

Kenyan health officials said the diagnostic services at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), isolation and the treatment centres at Kenyatta National Hospital and regional facilities have been put on high alert to enhance capacity to detect and respond to suspected cases of Ebola in the country.

At least 5,000 special full-body suits used in situations of highly infectious material are already available to handle a potential outbreak, according to the health ministry.
-0- PANA AO/AR 16May2017

16 Maio 2017 16:14:06

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