The World Health Organization (WHO) says the Ministry of Health of Cote d’Ivoire has confirmed the country’s first case of Ebola since 1994. The Institut Pasteur in Cote d’Ivoire confirmed the presence of Ebola Virus Disease in samples collected from a patient who was hospitalised in the commercial capital of Abidjan, after arriving from Guinea. The patient had travelled to Cote d’Ivoire by road and arrived in Abidjan on August 12, 2021.
Guinea experienced a four-month long Ebola outbreak, which was declared over on the 19 June 2021. There is no indication that the current case in Cote d’Ivoire is linked to the earlier outbreak in Guinea, WHO says. Further investigation and genomic sequencing will identify the strain and determine if there is a connection between the two outbreaks.
“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. “However, much of the world’s expertise in tackling Ebola is here on the continent and Cote d’Ivoire can tap into this experience and bring the response to full speed. The country is one of the six that WHO has supported recently to beef up their Ebola readiness and this quick diagnosis shows preparedness is paying off.”
While Cote d’Ivoire borders Guinea and Liberia which were struck hard by the 2014-2016 West Africa Ebola outbreak, the country has had no confirmed cases reported since 1994, when an outbreak among chimpanzees infected a scientist.
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