A hospital in the western Kenyan town of Eldoret said a middle-aged man suspected of being infected with the Ebola virus has been placed in isolation, following an outbreak of the disease in neighboring Uganda that killed 16.
The unidentified man was admitted earlier today to the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, 265 kilometers (165 miles) northwest of Nairobi, the capital, said John Kibosia, acting director of the facility. The patient had travelled from Sudan via Uganda to Eldoret last night and was exhibiting symptoms of the disease, he said by phone from the town.
Initial indications are that the patient doesn’t have Ebola, said Ian Njeru, head of the Disease Surveillance Centre at Kenya’s Public Health Ministry. “We have taken samples which will be analysed at the Kenya Medical Research Institute laboratories to get a conclusive report,” he said in a phone interview from Nairobi.
Uganda is monitoring 176 people who came in contact with suspected Ebola victims after the viral illness was detected last month in the western district of Kibaale, 109 miles (175 kilometers west of Kampala, the capital. The outbreak of the disease, for which there is no specific treatment or vaccine, is the worst in Uganda since 2007, when 42 people died, according to data on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s website.
The virus is transmitted by direct contact with blood, secretions or other bodily fluids of infected persons. Symptoms include fevers, muscle pain, diarrhea and internal and external bleeding.
About 1,850 cases with more than 1,200 deaths have been documented since Ebola was discovered in 1976, the World Health Organization says. While the illness can be transmitted by animals including chimpanzees and primates, the natural reservoir of the virus is unknown, according to the Geneva-based agency’s website.