Kemri tests rule out Marburg, Ebola in Kitale outbreak scare

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

Samples taken from two people in Kitale, Trans Nzoia County suspected to have contracted the deadly Marburg or Ebola virus have tested negative, the Health ministry has said.

The samples were tested at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) on Tuesday.

“No admission was done after the samples sent to Kemri for analysis came out negative of Marburg and Ebola,” said Medical Services director Jackson Kioko.

“As part of the surveillance, we have cordoned both the households of the traditional healer and that of the Ugandan who was attended to with similar symptoms of the diseases for about four days.”

He said a team of Health officials was on the ground trying to trace similar cases — including that of a boda boda rider who had brought the Ugandan from West Pokot to Kitale — in the area as the two might have come into contact with other people.

Trans Nzoia County director of preventive and promotive health services Gilbert Sowon said they had suspected Marburg virus, which has similar symptoms to deadly Ebola virus disease that include bleeding, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Uganda is currently experiencing a Marburg viral disease outbreak. The World Health Organisation released $500,000 (Sh50 million) last week from its emergency kitty in efforts to contain the outbreak on the Uganda-Kenya border that has killed three people, so far.

Marburg virus is transmitted to human beings through exposure to mines or caves inhabited by bats, consumption of bush meat or physical contact with an infected person.