Ivory Coast says first Ebola patient since 1994 has recovered

The 18-year-old had travelled to Abidjan by bus from Labe in northern Guinea, a journey of about 1,500 kilometres (950 miles) that traverses a densely-forested region where Ebola epidemics broke out earlier this year and 2013-16.

Health workers prepare vaccine documents in Abidjan on August 17, 2021 during a roll-out of vaccinations against Ebola on August 17, 2021, after the country recorded its first known case of the disease since 1994.
Issouf SANOGO / AFP

ABIDJAN - A young Guinean woman who tested positive for the Ebola virus in Ivory Coast after arriving there two weeks ago has recovered from the disease, the Ivorian health ministry said Tuesday.

"We performed on the patient two biological tests which were negative in an interval of 48 hours. She is therefore declared cured," Serge Eholie, ministry spokesman and head of the country's infectious diseases department told AFP.

"We are lifting her isolation today (Tuesday). She is no longer a risk of contamination. She is still very tired, we are keeping her in hospital," the professor added.

Her diagnosis was the first confirmed case of Ebola in Ivory Coast since 1994.

The 18-year-old had travelled to Abidjan by bus from Labe in northern Guinea, a journey of about 1,500 kilometres (950 miles) that traverses a densely-forested region where Ebola epidemics broke out earlier this year and 2013-16.

The World Health Organization has identified 49 people who have been in contact with the woman, and Ivory Coast started a vaccination campaign earlier this month to target those who were in immediate contact with the patient and security forces along the border with Guinea.

Ebola, which is transmitted through close contact with bodily fluids, is a fatal viral disease that causes severe fever and, in the worst cases, unstoppable bleeding.

Ivory Coast is the third African country this year to have been affected by the Ebola virus after the Democratic Republic of Congo and Guinea.

Her case had caused a dispute between the two countries after Guinea requested reconfirmation of her positive test, pushing Eholie to stand by his diagnosis last week.

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