Ebola in Mali
A sixth West African country has seen an Ebola case. On October 24, a two year old girl in Mali died of Ebola, marking the country’s first case and first death. The child had recently traveled from Guinea by bus, complicating contact tracing. Officials have located the bus and disinfected it, and using the passenger list they are identifying and tracking down everyone who shared the bus trip with the child (The Guardian).
Amid the necessary calls for international support, Africans on the continent and in the Diaspora are taking action to respond to Ebola. Africa Responds is one such initiative, mobilizing support and providing funds to four partner organizations, including Africare. Among their guiding principles is the following:
Africans have a critical role to play in emergency response. We must harness our resources, voices, and skills to support our brothers and sisters in affected countries.
Major news exemplifying this principle comes from South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe, who recently donated $1 million to support Ebola response in Guinea (Forbes).
News of Improvement
The total number of West African Ebola outbreak cases has broken 10,000. As of October 29, the total, including cases in Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain and the United States stands at 13,676 with 4,910 deaths (CDC). However, WHO officials have stated that new infections in Liberia, which has been one of the worst affected countries, are decreasing (NY Times). In August and September more than 300 or 400 new cases would be reported each week, while in the last full week far less than 100 were reported, including only 30 in the most severe transmission area of Montserrado, which includes the capital city Monrovia. These reductions in new infections, while less dramatic, are also evident in Guinea and Sierra Leone (WHO).
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s separate Ebola outbreak, nearly three weeks have passed since the last suspected case tested negative twice and was discharged. When 42 days have passed without a new infection, the country will be declared Ebola free (WHO).
All suspected cases of the Marburg Virus, a disease similar to Ebola, recently tested negative in Uganda. Although the official 42 day period without a new infection has not passed, more than 21 days have passed since the country’s last infection (New Vision).