Kenyan and Tanzanian authorities have established screening measure at airports to prevent the spread of Ebola virus disease (EVD) as of Sunday, June 16. Airports with flights from the DRC and Uganda, including Kisumu International Airport (KIS), will screen passengers with thermal scanners and require travelers to submit health forms. Congestion at customs and immigration are possible. "Reverse screening" is also planned at KIS for departing passengers. Intensified screenings are also planned for land ports of entry, such as Busia and Malaba.
Three cases of EVD were reported in Uganda on Wednesday, June 12, resulting in two deaths. An EVD outbreak is ongoing in the neighboring DRC provinces of North Kivu and Ituri. The outbreak, which began in August 2018, has resulted in more than 2000 cases and 1400 deaths.
EVD is extremely virulent. The disease is transmitted to humans via direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs, or other bodily fluids of infected animals. The disease can then be transmitted between humans and is highly contagious, particularly during the hemorrhagic phase. Ebola is characterized by the sudden onset of high fever, weakness, joint and muscle pain, and headache. A sore throat is also a common early symptom. These symptoms are followed by nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, rashes, kidney and liver failure, and, in some cases, internal and external bleeding.
Travelers should avoid the above areas and monitor the situation. To prevent the spread of EVD:
- Avoid contact with infected individuals and any items that have been in their close proximity;
- Avoid consuming bush meat and only handle animals when wearing gloves and the appropriate protective wear;
- Animal products (meat and blood) should be thoroughly cooked before consumption;
- Adhere to a strict observance of hygienic precautions (e.g. wash hands regularly, etc.);
- Avoid crowded areas (e.g. stadiums, markets, train stations, etc.).
In case of doubt, individuals should seek immediate medical attention and comply with all directives issued by local health authorities.
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