Ebola Outbreak: Kenya At High Risk, Warns WHO

A lab specialist examines specimens of the Ebola virus at a research centre in Entebbe, Uganda, last year.
A lab specialist examines specimens of the Ebola virus at a research centre in Entebbe, Uganda, last year.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified Kenya as a “high-risk” country for the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

Kenya was vulnerable because it was a major transport hub, with many flights from West Africa, a WHO official said.

This is the most serious warning to date by the WHO that Ebola could spread to East Africa.

The number of people killed by Ebola in West Africa has risen to 1,069, the WHO said in its latest update.

Fifty-six deaths and 128 new cases were reported in the region in the two days to 11 August, it added.

Canada said it would donate up to 1,000 doses of an experimental Ebola vaccine to help fight the outbreak.

In Sierra Leone, a doctor who treated patients infected with Ebola has died, reports the BBC’s Umaru Fofana from the capital, Freetown.

Dr Modupeh Cole is the second Sierra Leonean doctor to die of the disease.

In Nigeria, Africa’s most populous state, a third Ebola-related death was reported on Tuesday.

The WHO’s country director for Kenya, Custodia Mandlhate, said the East African state was “classified in group two; at high risk of transmission”.

Health checks at the main airport in the capital, Nairobi, have been stepped up in recent weeks.

The Kenyan government said it would not ban flights from the four countries hit by Ebola.

“We do not recommend ban of flights because of porous borders,” health cabinet secretary James Macharia said.

Kenya receives more than 70 flights a week from West Africa.

The West African regional body, Ecowas, said one of its officials, Jatto Asihu Abdulqudir, had died of Ebola in Nigeria.

The 36-year-old had been in contact with Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian government employee who was the first to be killed by the virus in Nigeria on 25 July, Ecowas said in a statement.

Mr Sawyer had flown in from Liberia, when he was diagnosed with Ebola after collapsing at the airport in Lagos, the biggest city in sub-Saharan Africa.

BBC

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