Abidjan, Aug 14 (EFE).- The Pasteur Institute in the Ivory Coast has confirmed the first case of Ebola in the country since 1994, the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) reported Saturday.
According to early investigations, on Aug. 12 the patient traveled to the capital, Abidjan, by road from neighboring Guinea, which on June 19 announced the end of its latest outbreak.
The patient, an 18-year-old Guinean woman, was admitted to hospital after suffering a fever and is currently receiving treatment, according to a statement released late Saturday by the Ministry of Health.
The WHO said there is no indication that the case is connected to the last outbreak in Guinea, but “further investigation and genomic sequencing will identify the strain and determine if there is a connection between the two outbreaks.”
This year, outbreaks of Ebola have been declared in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, declared over on May 3, and in Guinea but, according to the WHO, this is the first time an outbreak has occurred in a large capital such as Abidjan since the 2014-2016 West Ebola outbreak that killed 11,300 people.
“It is of immense concern that this outbreak has been declared in Abidjan, a metropolis of more than 4 million people,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, in a statement Saturday.
Although the Ivory Coast shares a border with Liberia and Guinea, the country had not had any confirmed cases since 1994, when the virus jumped from a dead chimpanzee to a scientist.
Five thousand doses of the Ebola vaccine that had been reserved to deal with the outbreak in Guinea are now being transferred to the Ivory Coast.
After an emergency inter-ministerial meeting held Saturday, the Ivorian health authorities agreed to impose several measures, such as the reactivation of community surveillance to respond to Ebola and the follow-up of all contacts, as well as the “immediate” vaccination of all priority groups such as health and security personnel.
The Ebola virus is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of infected people or animals such as bats and primates. It causes hemorrhagic fever and can reach a mortality rate of 90 percent if it is not treated in time. EFE