Uganda warns Kenya Ebola may have crossed border

KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda's health ministry warned Kenyan authorities Tuesday that seven Kenyan nationals may have come into contact with the deadly Ebola virus.

Ugandan health ministry spokesman Paul Kagwa told Reuters his department had spoken with its counterpart across the border after seven Kenyans attended the funeral of a woman who died of the killer disease.

"We have been in contact with the Kenyan health ministry and the World Health Organization's Uganda office has been in touch with their Kenyan office," Kagwa said.

Senior Kenyan health officals were holding a meeting on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the issue, a source at Kenya's health ministry said.

The seven are relatives of a Ugandan woman who died of the virus-which in many cases leads to massive internal bleeding - in early November.

Ugandan officials said on Monday the same woman had unwittingly spread the epidemic when she fled the center of the outbreak in the Ugandan town of Gulu to her home district in a vain attempt to escape the disease.

The seven Kenyans, who have since returned to their homes in western Kenya, are among 150 people who attended the funeral that are now being tracked by Ugandan authorities.

"So far up to 150 contacts have been identified. These include seven Kenyan nationals who had traveled from Kenya to participate in the burial," a health ministry statement said.

The statement also said that four people have now died of Ebola in the woman's home district of Masindi (120 km) or 75 miles, south of Gulu, where the virus was first identified in September.

There is no known cure for the disease which has killed 110 people in the latest outbreak.