Nairobi, Sep 5 IANS | 2 months ago

Kenyan health authorities Thursday ruled out an Ebola outbreak in the country after tests conducted on two suspected patients turned negative.

Kenya's Medial Services director Nicholas Muraguri assured Kenyans that medical personnel are on high alert to ensure safety, after tests on a suspected patient in a Nairobi airport turned negative, Xinhua reported.

The assurance comes after a patient was isolated Wednesday when reports claimed there was a passenger with Ebola inside Kenya Airways plane from DR Congo.

The Kenya Airways Flight 550 from Lubumbashi landed at JKIA causing panic. The flight crew alerted health ministry officials about the male passenger who had vomited in the aircraft while mid-air.

"Emergency teams comprising Ebola experts were immediately put together to receive the aircraft. However, tests on the suspected case had turned negative," Muraguri said.

Muraguri added that the tests showed that the man had suffered from food poisoning that led to vomiting. The Ministry of Health assured Kenyans that there was no need for panic, as no case of Ebola had been confirmed in the country.

Meanwhile, doctors have also ruled out the Ebola virus in a case where a 10-year-old Liberian boy is admitted at a hospital in Nakuru, about 180 km southwest of Nairobi, with fever-like symptoms.

Nakuru County Chief Officer for Health Samwel Mwaura said the pupil, and the nurse who first attended to him, were immediately placed under quarantine Wednesday, pending the results of a test which was forwarded to Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) in Nairobi.

Mwaura revealed that the tests conducted were both negative. The results followed a night of panic among many at various hospitals and the school after reports of the spread of the virus.

The health ministry in August released a contingency plan that will guide health institutions in the country on what to do if the dreaded Ebola Viral Disease (EVD) spreads into the country.

The flow of travellers from the West African countries into Kenya is one of the risk factors for an EVD outbreak in the country, according to the contingency plan.

(Posted on 05-09-2014)

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