Mali has suffered a new case of Ebola infection – separate from its only other one detected last month – with the death of a nurse who treated a patient from Guinea, medical sources have said.
“The nurse, who had been in contact with a Guinean national who died of the illness, died in turn,” said official at the Pasteur Clinic in the capital Bamako, where the male nurse worked.
Tests had confirmed the presence of the Ebola virus, the official added yesterday.
The announcement of a second Ebola case came as Malian authorities were beginning to lift quarantine restrictions on more than a hundred people put at risk by exposure to Mali’s first victim of the deadly virus.
That victim was a two-year-old girl from Guinea who was diagnosed with Ebola after journeying to the western town of Kayes on October 23. She died the following day.
The toddler had travelled by bus and taxi with her grandmother, sister and uncle, making frequent stops on a trip of more than 1,200 kilometres.
They also spent two hours in the capital Bamako, visiting relatives in a house of 25 people.
The largest Ebola outbreak on record has killed some 5,000 people, mainly in western Africa, with Liberia hit hardest and the contagion still raging in neighbouring Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Liberia has announced a dramatic drop in new Ebola infections, but the latest Ebola death in Mali brings fresh concerns of further contamination.
Several patients who were being treated for other illnesses at the Pasteur Clinic in Bamako have left the hospital, while others have been placed under surveillance, hospital sources said.
The facility, one of the best equipped in the Malian capital, was sealed off by a police cordon late yesterday.
Another source at the clinic said it had taken in a patient from across the border in Guinea two weeks ago, suffering from renal problems. That patient died and the body was repatriated to Guinea.
The Malian nurse who died of Ebola had been treating him for days before he started having symptoms himself.