Mali on maximum Ebola alert as fifth case confirmed

(AGI) Accra, Nov 18 - Mali is on maximum alert followingconfirmation of the country's fifth case of Ebola. PresidentIbrahim Boubacar Keita said everything possible was being doneand he was confident that Ebola would be wiped out, during avisit to a Medecins Sans Frontieres treatment centre. Threepeople showing symptoms of the virus, including a nurse, havedied at the Pasteur Hospital, one of the city's mostovercrowded facilities, but Ebola was not immediatelydiagnosed. It was only after the authorities reported that oneof the patients was an Imam from a neighbouring country whichhad been

(AGI) Accra, Nov 18 - Mali is on maximum alert followingconfirmation of the country's fifth case of Ebola. PresidentIbrahim Boubacar Keita said everything possible was being doneand he was confident that Ebola would be wiped out, during avisit to a Medecins Sans Frontieres treatment centre. Threepeople showing symptoms of the virus, including a nurse, havedied at the Pasteur Hospital, one of the city's mostovercrowded facilities, but Ebola was not immediatelydiagnosed. It was only after the authorities reported that oneof the patients was an Imam from a neighbouring country whichhad been hit by the epidemic, that a rapid response team wassent in and anti-contagion measures were put in force. Allpatients and staff have been put into quarantine and themedical staff are trying to identify more than 500 peoplethought to have had contact with the Imam since his arrival inBamako late last month. The president warned that Ebola was anextremely deadly disease, primarily transmitted by blood, sweatand vomit, but steps to avoid contagion, such as careful handwashing, could be taken. This was something he did severaltimes a day, even when he had been wearing rubber gloves. TheAccra parliament has expressed concern that border securityforces would be exposed to the virus, should people affected byit arrive. The lack of preparation and logistics at all theborder posts put staff at serious risk, said the Chairman ofthe Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence Fritz Baffour.There was a lack of equipment, thermometers, X-ray machines anddisinfectants. (AGI) . .