WHO suspects second Ebola infection in Ivory Coast


Published: 2021-08-18 10:09

Last Updated: 2024-05-25 11:34

WHO suspects second Ebola infection in Ivory Coast
WHO suspects second Ebola infection in Ivory Coast

The World Health Organization announced that a second infection with the Ebola virus is suspected in people who had contact with nine people who are under supervision after one case was detected amongst them. 

"Regarding the numbers, there are two cases, one of which has been confirmed, which is a young woman, and there is a suspected infection," WHO spokesman Tarik Yasarevich said in a statement in Geneva on Tuesday. He added, "There are currently nine people in contact with the young woman who have been identified."

The first case of Ebola hemorrhagic fever was discovered Saturday in the economic capital, Abidjan, in an 18-year-old Guinean citizen who arrived in Ivory Coast on August 11 from the city of Labe in northern Guinea, on a journey that covered more than 1,500 kilometers by road.

The patient is currently undergoing treatment in a hospital in Abidjan, while a campaign to vaccinate health workers against the Ebola virus began on Monday.

Agence France-Presse reported that residents of an area in Abidjan where the young Guinean woman lived were vaccinated on Tuesday.

"We know that the patient stayed here before going to the hospital, so everyone around her had to be vaccinated," said Ivory Coast Minister of Health Pierre Demba.

He added that he expected "the number of people who had contact with her to reach two thousand in the coming days" of those who traveled with her and who were in contact with these travelers.

The search continues for those who had contact with this young woman in her area of origin in Guinea.

"Currently, all her family members are with us in an isolation center and we are continuing investigations to identify those in contact with the authorities," noting that the authorities "do not know whether the young woman was infected with the virus in Labeh or during her trip to Ivory Coast through the Guinean forests," the director of health in Labeh, Doctor Mamadou Hadi Diallo, told AFP. in Nzerekwe.

The Ebola epidemic spread from the forests of Guinea in 2021 as well as between 2013 and 2016 in West Africa, killing more than 11,300 people, most of them in Guinea (2,500 deaths), Liberia and Sierra Leone, three of the poorest countries in the world.

In fact, the WHO says the toll is higher.

The organization confirmed that it was "greatly concerned that the infection was recorded in Abidjan, a city with a population of more than four million people, two months after declaring the end of the epidemic in Guinea in 2021."