SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- Mali has placed hundreds of people under surveillance over fear of being exposed to Ebola, as the country battles to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
“The number of contacts followed by health services amounts to 442,” said Samba Sow, head of the Ebola response in Mali, in a statement on Sunday, adding that the people are all being monitored for health control.
Officials in Mali have so far prevented a major outbreak after the death of a Guinean imam and the Malian nurse who treated him in the capital, Bamako, last week.
A friend who had visited the imam also died of probable Ebola.
In October, a two-year-old girl also died in the western town of Kayes after she was confirmed of having contracted the virus.
“The death toll has not changed since November 15, and remains three related to (and including) the Guinean patient’s death and one death in Kayes,” Sow stated.
Meanwhile, officials said two people that died on November 15 are “highly suspected” of having contracted Ebola after exposure to the imam’s body.
Teams of investigators in Mali have been tracing health workers and scouring cities for people who could have been exposed to the deadly virus.
The disease has so far claimed the lives of more than 5,145 people in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone — the three West African countries badly affected by the epidemic — with the number of infections standing at nearly 14,070, according to the World Health Organization.
Ebola is a form of hemorrhagic fever whose symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting, and bleeding. The virus spreads through direct contact with infected blood, feces, or sweat. It can be also spread through sexual contact or the unprotected handling of contaminated corpses.