Ivory Coast detects first Ebola case in 25 years

Côte d’Ivoire has declared the first case of the Ebola hemorrhagic virus in 25 years, the health minister and the World Health Organization (WHO) said separately on Saturday.

Health Minister Pierre Dimba said on national television that it was an isolated case of an 18-year-old girl who traveled from neighboring Guinea.

The World Health Organization said in a statement that Côte d’Ivoire confirmed the first case of Ebola in the country since 1994.

“This came after the Institut Pasteur de Côte d’Ivoire confirmed Ebola virus disease in samples collected from a patient, who was hospitalized in the commercial capital of Abidjan, after arriving from Guinea,” WHO said in the notice.

The WHO said initial investigations found that the patient had traveled to Ivory Coast by road and arrived in Abidjan on August 12.

“The patient was admitted to hospital after having a fever and is currently receiving treatment,” he said.

Guinea, the site of the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak, the deadliest on record, experienced a four-month Ebola outbreak earlier this year that was declared over on June 19.

Guinea earlier this week also confirmed a first case of the Marburg virus in West Africa. Marburg virus disease is a highly infectious hemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola.

Transmission of both deadly diseases occurs through contact with infected body tissues and fluids, while symptoms include headache, bloody vomiting, muscle aches, and bleeding.

The WHO said there was no indication that the current case in Côte d’Ivoire is related to the outbreak in Guinea earlier this year. He said further genomic research and sequencing will identify the strain and determine if there was a connection.

“It is a great concern that this outbreak has been declared in Abidjan, a metropolis of more than 4 million people,” Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa, said in the statement.

“However, much of the global experience in the fight against Ebola is here on the continent and Côte d’Ivoire can draw on this experience and bring the response at full speed,” he said.


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