Mali is trying to trace at least 200 contacts linked to confirmed and probable Ebola victims in an effort to control its second Ebola outbreak, health officials said on Friday. An initial batch of contacts linked to a 2-year-old from Guinea who died from the deadly disease last month were close to the end of their 21-day quarantine period when Mali confirmed its second case this week.
There have been at least four more suspected Ebola deaths, all linked to an imam who entered Mali from neighboring Guinea and died late last month with Ebola-like symptoms that were not recognized.
Malian Health Ministry spokesman Marakatie Daou said a woman who had helped wash the imam's body died on Thursday at the Gabriel Toure Hospital in Mali's capital, Bamako. Daou said an initial Ebola test result for the woman was positive, making her the fourth clinically confirmed Malian case, although further analysis would be carried out abroad.
"There are 200 contacts if we add those linked to the case of the woman yesterday," Daou told Reuters. The outbreak has killed more than 5,000 people and has hit hardest the West African nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
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