EDITORIAL: Step up Marburg screening

Threat Illustration of Marburg virus. PHOTO | FILE
Threat Illustration of Marburg virus. PHOTO | FILE  

Kenya is among countries that the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned last week were at the risk of a Marburg virus outbreak after cases of the Ebola-like disease were reported in neighbouring Uganda.

But despite the disease having claimed lives across the border, confusing statements by health authorities about their investigations of a suspected case in Trans Nzoia County do not inspire confidence that they are doing enough to keep the country free of the disease.

The Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) on Wednesday said that samples taken from Fridah Etyang’, the Kenyan herbalist who hosted a Ugandan confirmed to have died of the Marburg virus in her homestead, tested negative.

For his part, Emmanuel Wanjala, the medical superintendent at Kitale County Hospital, said that Ms Etyang’ and her family had been quarantined, suggesting that the investigations were inconclusive.