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article imageMali sees first Ebola case while death toll nears 5,000

By Karen Graham     Oct 23, 2014 in Health
Malian Health Minister Ousmane Kone spoke on state television on Thursday, confirming the country's first case of Ebola. The victim is a two-year-old child who tested positive for the virus after returning from Guinea.
The news of the Ebola case in Mali raises the number of West African nations with the disease to six affected countries in the region. The death toll from the outbreak in West Africa stands at almost 5,000. The World Health Organization (WHO) says Ebola has infected nearly 10,000 people so far, with a death rate between 50 and 70 percent.
The child, a little girl, was taken to a hospital in Kayes, about 375 miles from the capital, Bamako. Her blood tested positive for Ebola. "The sick child and the people who were in contact with her in Kayes were immediately identified and taken care of," Kone said.
The little girl's mother died from Ebola several weeks ago in Guinea. She was brought to Mali by relatives, according to the health ministry.
Almost all the Ebola cases and deaths have occurred in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Nigeria and Senegal had cases imported by travelers coming into the country with the disease, though the two countries are now Ebola-free.
Threats to break quarantine in Liberia
Liberian state radio reported on Thursday evening that 43 people in quarantine in Jenewonda, near the Sierra Leone border have threatened to break out of their isolation because they have no food. The community was put into quarantine after four people died of Ebola there.
"The U.N. World Food Program (WFP) in Liberia heard about this community being isolated only two days ago via the radio and staff immediately began organizing a mission to bring food to the quarantined people," said spokesman Alexis Masciarelli in an email to The Associated Press.
The Associated Press is also reporting they have obtained an internal U.N. WHO report that blames the spiraling out of control of the Ebola epidemic on a series of blunders. Most notable is the WHO's "failure to see that conditions for explosive spread were present right at the start."
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