Mali’s Ministry of Health has confirmed an additional two new cases of the Ebola virus disease.
A statement issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday said, the first, confirmed on November 22, occurred in the 23-year-old fiancée of the 25-year-old nurse who attended the Grand Imam from Guinea; which was the index case in this outbreak and died of Ebola on November 11.
It said the young woman developed symptoms on November 19 and, on November 20, was hospitalized in isolation at Bamako’s Ebola treatment centre, a new facility which opened last week.
It said: “Because of her association with the nurse, most of her close contacts were already under surveillance.
“Her case was detected early in the disease course. Her quick isolation has further reduced opportunities for community exposures.
“The second new case is part of a family of previously confirmed and deceased patients. The 27-year-old man lost his mother and half-brother to Ebola.”
It noted that he developed symptoms on November 19 and was admitted for treatment at the new facility on November 24; and laboratory confirmation was received the same day.
The statement noted that the identification of patient contacts for daily monitoring has reportedly reached 99 per cent.
It said based on experiences in Senegal and Nigeria, this achievement could augur well for rapid containment of Mali’s outbreak.
It recounted that to date, all seven cases in this second wave of infections could be linked to contact with an Imam who developed symptoms on October 17 in his native village of Kourémalé, Guinea, and arrived in Bamako on October 25 for treatment at the Pasteur Clinic.
The statement pointed out that his case had been classified as a Guinea case as he developed symptoms there.
It said after his death on October 27, his body was returned to Kourémalé for a funeral the following day that attracted a large number of mourners.
According to the statement, these events ignited additional chains of transmission in Guinea, including several deaths, which were currently under investigation by WHO epidemiologists.
It said most of these patients had symptom onset in early to mid-November, indicating ongoing chains of transmission.
It said with WHO support, staff from Mali’s Ministry of Health would be meeting with health officials from Guinea to discuss cross-border measures for coordinating control efforts, and reducing the likelihood that additional cases would be imported from Guinea into Mali.
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