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Two-year-old girl dies of Ebola in Mali's first case

The girl had recently returned to Mali from neighbouring Guinea.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

Updated 06.45am

A TWO-YEAR-old girl died of Ebola in Mali today, in the first case of the disease in the west African nation.

The girl had recently returned to Mali from neighbouring Guinea, one of the countries most affected by an epidemic that has killed nearly 4,900 people.

The toddler died while being treated at a hospital in the western city of Kayes today, according to a statement from the Health Ministry read out on television.

This is the first Ebola case in Mali and may expand to many more.

Borders

The case highlights how quickly the virus can hop borders and even oceans, just as questions are being asked about what precautions health care workers who treat Ebola patients should take when they return home from the hot zone.

Doctors Without Borders insisted today, after one of its doctors who worked in Guinea came down with Ebola in New York, that quarantines of returning health workers are not necessary when they do not show symptoms of the disease.

In the Mali case, however, the girl was visibly sick, WHO said, and an initial investigation has identified 43 people, including 10 health workers, she came into close contact with who are being monitored for symptoms and held in isolation. The child was confirmed to have Ebola on Thursday.

“The child’s symptomatic state during the bus journey is especially concerning, as it presented multiple opportunities for exposures — including high-risk exposures — involving many people,” the agency said in a statement.

The girl first went to a clinic in Mali on Monday and she was initially treated for typhoid, which she tested positive for. When she did not improve, she was tested for Ebola.

Additional reporting AFP

First published 22.25pm 24/10/2014

Read: The chances of Ebola reaching Ireland? ‘Very low’>

Read: New York doctor tests positive for Ebola>

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