The Ivory Coast has declared a first case of the Ebola hemorrhagic virus in 25 years.
On Saturday, the country’s Pierre N’Gou Dimba said on national television that officials confirmed the case after testing samples from an 18-year-old female who travelled from neighbouring Guinea.
He said that this was an isolated and imported incident and the patient was currently being treated in intensive care in Abidjan, the commercial capital with a population of about 4 million.
The World Health Organization also released a statement saying that the case was Ivory Coast’s first Ebola infection since 1994.
They also added that the initial investigations found the patient had travelled to Ivory Coast by road and arrived in Abidjan on August 12.
Recently there was another outbreak in Guinea on June 19th, however the WHO says that no link has been found between the earlier outbreak in Guinea and the current outbreak in Abidjan.
Further investigation and genomic sequencing will identify the strain and determine if there was a connection.
But there seems to be some hope. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, says that much of the world’s expertise in tackling Ebola is in Africa.
“Ivory Coast can tap into this experience and bring the response to full speed,” she said.
The WHO said it was helping to coordinate a cross-border response, which included transferring 5,000 doses of the Ebola vaccine from Guinea to Ivory Coast.