The first confirmed Ebola patient in Mali, a two-year-old girl, has died.
The victim had travelled to the country with her grandmother from Guinea – one of the three countries hardest hit during the recent Ebola outbreak.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said that the girl had multiple opportunities to expose others to the virus.
She first went to a clinic Tuesday after entering the country, WHO Assistant Director-General Marie-Paule Kieny said at a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland. She was diagnosed with Ebola on Thursday.
The WHO said it was working to confirm media reports that the child’s mother showed Ebola-like symptoms before her death.
Health Ministry spokeswoman Markatie Daou said the dozens of people who had contact with the girl have not shown any symptom related to the virus, as of yesterday.
More than 40 people are still being monitored, she said. They include 10 medical workers who came into contact with the girl in the city of Kayes, west of the Mali capital of Bamako, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said. Kayes has a population of about 128,000 people.
Jasarevic cited local authorities as saying 43 people were being monitored in total. The incubation period for Ebola is two to 21 days, so the country faces a long wait to know if it’s in the clear.
The girl’s case makes Mali the sixth West African country to be hit by the virus, which WHO reported has killed more than 4,800 people. Nigeria and Senegal have in recent days been declared free of the disease. (CNN)