Lifestyle & Belief

Ebola puts Kenya labs on high alert


Uganda confirmed that the Ebola virus has killed a 12-year-old girl. Uganda has not had a confirmed case of Ebola since 2007. In this photo a team of doctors examines a man suspected to be infected with Ebola on December 20, 2007.


Claude Mahoudeau

Kenya put its labs on high alert and dispatched protective medical gear to its border provinces after an Ebola outbreak in neighboring Uganda.

Measures to detect people who could be carrying the disease, including raising awareness and screenings at airports and border crossings, have been "invigorated" since Ebola was detected in western Uganda on July 6, according to Bloomberg.

"The ministry has put in place measures to ensure that the outbreak does not find its way into the country so that if by any chance any case finds its way in, it is detected on time, and response mounted to stop local transmission," said Shikanga O-tipo, head of the integrated disease surveillance unit at Kenya’s Public Health Ministry.

More from GlobalPost: Ebola virus threat worsens, Uganda President warns of further outbreak

Fourteen people have died of Ebola in Uganda so far, and officials fear a repeat of 2000's outbreaks, the most devastating to date, when 425 people were infected and more than half of those people died, reported Reuters. Uganda's southern neighbor, Rwanda, has also taken steps to detect the disease, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

"Though no case has been reported in Rwanda for the last 15 years, government has put in place measures aimed at protecting the public from this deadly disease but is also cautioning Rwandans to remain vigilant and report any suspected cases immediately," it said.

According to Bloomberg, the virus is transmitted by direct contact with blood, secretions or other bodily fluids of infected people. Symptoms include fevers, muscle pain, diarrhea and internal and external bleeding.