First Ebola case in Mali confirmed
October 23, 2014 5:50 pm
The Malian government has confirmed the first case of Ebola in the country.
It said a two-year-old girl had tested positive for the haemorrhagic virus. Reports say she recently returned from the neighbouring Guinea.
More than 4,800 people have died of Ebola – mainly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone – since March.
Meanwhile, an international team of scientists has been set up to determine the effectiveness of using the blood of Ebola survivors as a treatment.
Speaking on state television on Thursday, Malian Health Minister Ousmane Kone said the infected girl was being treated in the western town of Kayes.
She was brought to a local hospital on Wednesday and her blood sample was Ebola-positive, Mr Kone said.
The child and those who have come into contact with her have been put in quarantine.
The girl’s mother died in Guinea a few weeks ago and the child was then brought by relatives to Mali, Reuters news agency quotes a health ministry official as saying.
Mali is now the sixth West African country to be affected by the latest Ebola outbreak – however Senegal and Nigeria have since been declared virus-free by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO says 443 health workers have contracted Ebola, of whom 244 have died.