Ivory Coast Confirms First Case of Ebola Since 1994

Ivory Coast has reported its first case of Ebola since 1994 in its capital Abidjan, Health Minister Pierre N’Gou Demba announced last Aug. 14.

Demba said on RTI state television that officials at the Institut Pasteur had confirmed the case after testing samples taken from an 18-year-old Guinean woman who had left the city of Labe in Guinea by road and arrived in Ivory Coast on Aug. 12.

“This is an isolated and imported case,” Demba said, adding that the patient was currently in intensive care in Abidjan.

Prime Minister Patrick Achi called for an emergency inter-ministerial meeting following the confirmation, Demba said.

Demba also said that authorities had activated an emergency response, including the identification and surveillance of those who may had come into contact with the patient.

World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti expressed “immense concern” over the declaration of an outbreak in Abidjan, which has a population of over four million people.

According to WHO, this was the first time an outbreak has occurred in a large capital such as Abidjan since the 2014-2016 West Ebola outbreak.

WHO confirmed in a statement that it would send 5,000 anti-Ebola vaccines to Ivory Coast.

WHO also said that there was no indication that that the current case in Ivory Coast was linked to the earlier outbreak in Guinea, which had been declared over on June 19, 2021.

“Further investigation and genomic sequencing will identify the strain and determine if there is a connection between the two outbreaks,” WHO said.

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