by Chidi Okoye
According to the country’s officials and state TV reports, the two-year-old girl who became Mali’s first case of the Ebola virus disease has died.
The two-year-old had travelled with her grandmother hundreds of kilometres by bus from Guinea via Mali’s capital to the western town of Kayes, where she was diagnosed on Thursday.
An health official and two government officials of the West African nation, speaking under the veil of anonymity, revealed that the girl died in a treatment centre in Kayes at around 1600 GMT.
Meanwhile, local radio stations have started reporting her death, while Health workers are scrambling to trace hundreds of potential contacts in a bid to prevent a widespread Ebola outbreak in Mali.
WHO said that 43 contacts had been identified and isolated but a Malian health official told Reuters that authorities estimated that at least 300 people had been in contact with the infected child.
However, Health Ministry spokeswoman Markatie Daou said the dozens of people who had contact with the girl have not shown any symptom related to the virus, as of Friday. She said, “More than 40 people are still being monitored.”