Friday 24 October 2014

Ebola Outbreak: Mali confirms its first case of Ebola Virus

A 2-year-old girl in Mali has been diagnosed with Ebola, making her the West African country's first confirmed case, health officials said Thursday.

The girl was brought to Mali from neighboring Guinea, where the outbreak this year is believed to have started, World Health Organization spokeswoman Yvette Bivigou said.

The girl, whose father died of Ebola, was taken to the hospital in Kayes after a nurse noticed she was suffering from what appeared to be Ebola-like symptoms. A test confirmed the girl has Ebola, Health Ministry spokeswoman Markatie Daou said.

"The girl is still in the hospital in Kayes together with members of her family who might have been exposed to the virus," she said.

The confirmed case in Mali makes it the sixth West African country to be hit by the virus, which the WHO reported has killed more than 4,800 people.

Ousmane Kone, Mali's minister for public health, called for people in Kayes, west of the capital city of Bamako, to "stay calm" and observe "hygiene measures."

"We identified the first contacts of the patient," he said. Even so, he asked anyone who had contact with the girl to contact authorities.

The news comes just days after the WHO announced that vaccine trials are expected to begin in January in West Africa.

The initial vaccine tests are being given to volunteers in countries such as Mali, the United States and England.

Credit: Margot Haddad/Katarina Hoije/CNN

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