Mali suspects first Ebola cases as regional death toll tops 90

Reuters
A woman walks past dried bushmeat near a road of the Yamoussoukro highway
.

View photo

A woman walks past dried bushmeat near a road of the Yamoussoukro highway March 29, 2014. Bushmeat - …

By Adama Diarra and Misha Hussain

BAMAKO/CONAKRY (Reuters) - Mali said it had identified its first possible cases of Ebola since the start of an outbreak in neighbouring Guinea, adding to fears that the deadly virus was spreading across West Africa.

More than 90 people have already died in Guinea and Liberia in what medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has warned could turn into an unprecedented epidemic in an impoverished region with poor health services. [ID:nL5N0MS4ZC]

Foreign mining companies have locked down operations and pulled out some international staff in mineral-rich Guinea. French health authorities have also put doctors and hospitals on alert in case people travelling to and from former colonies in the region pick up the disease. [ID:nL5N0MU54S] [ID:nL5N0MV33M]

Three people in Mali had been placed in quarantine and samples sent off to Atlanta in the United States for tests, the government said on state television late on Thursday.

"A high-speed intervention team has been created to follow the evolution of the situation on the ground," the statement said. It added that the health of the three suspected victims was showing signs of improving.

The latest outbreak originated in Guinea two months ago and has since spread to its neighbours Sierra Leone and Liberia. Gambia has placed two people in quarantine although the Health Ministry since said the cases were negative.

Guinea's Health Ministry said two more suspected victims of the virus had died, bringing its death count to 86.

Liberia also reported three new deaths among its suspected 14 cases, raising its death toll to seven.

"We need to fight to contain it. A medical team from (medical charity) MSF came today to help train some of our health workers," Liberia's health minister, Walter Gwenegale, said.

FEAR AND MISTRUST

The disease, which has killed 1,500 people since it was first recorded in 1976 in what is now Democratic Republic of Congo, causes vomiting, diarrhoea and external bleeding. It has a fatality rate of up to 90 percent.

Many health systems in West Africa are poorly equipped to deal with an epidemic and aid workers have warned of the difficulty of fighting infections scattered across several locations and in densely populated areas such as Guinea's capital Conakry.

Some blame the government for not immediately quarantining an individual who carried the virus from the remote south, where the bulk of the 137 cases are reported, to the capital.

There are now 16 cases in Conkary, of whom five have died, a WHO spokesman said on Friday.

"How can we trust them now? We have to look after ourselves," said Guinean Dede Diallo, who has stopped working and kept her children at home since the outbreak.

Conakry's luxury five-star Palm Camayenne Hotel, popular among businessmen and politicians, is running at less than a third of occupancy, according to a receptionist.

Flight data told a similar story. A return Brussels Airlines flight between the Belgian capital and Conakry on Thursday had just 55 people arriving and 200 leaving, an airline employee said.

Regional airline Gambia Bird delayed the start of a route to Conakry due to begin last weekend while Senegal has closed its border with Guinea because of the outbreak.

View Comments (52)

Recommended for You

  • Luggage piece found on French island near possible MH370 debris

    Part of a bag was found Thursday on the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion not far from plane debris which has fuelled speculation it may be from missing flight MH370. "The piece of luggage was here since yesterday but nobody really paid attention," said Johnny Begue, a member of a local…

    AFP
  • David Cassidy prepares to auction Florida mansion

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Like many of his baby boomer peers with grown children and debts to settle, one-time heartthrob David Cassidy is looking to downsize.

    Associated Press47 mins ago
  • Family Pet-Sitter Helps Herself To Homeowner's Possessions

    DEAR ABBY: A trusted and beloved family member who takes care of my cats -- and therefore has a key to my house -- has been stealing things like cleaning supplies, knickknacks, family pictures, etc. Most of them have little monetary value. But imagine my surprise when I spotted some of my missing…

    Dear Abby
  • Turkey onslaught on Kurds, after IS attack, fuels anger

    DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (AP) — Just when it seemed Turkey was getting serious about the fight against IS, it has turned its military focus to pounding its old foe: the Kurdish rebels.

    Associated Press12 mins ago
  • An American Dentist Killed Zimbabwe’s Famous Lion

    Cecil the lion, a famous black-maned resident of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, died at the hands of an American dentist, conservationists claim. “Mr. Palmer shot Cecil with a bow and arrow but this shot didn't kill him,” Johnny Rodrigues, chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, said in…

    TakePart.com
  • Chicago man cleared after 17 years in prison shot dead

    CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago man who served 17 years in prison for murder before being cleared of the crime has been shot and killed almost three years after being released from prison, police said Wednesday.

    Associated Press
  • China to prosecute former top officer for graft

    China will prosecute a former top military officer for corruption, the government said on Thursday, the second senior officer to be investigated, as President Xi Jinping widens his campaign against deep-rooted graft in the country. Guo Boxiong, 73, was a vice chairman of the powerful Central…

    Reuters
  • Play

    Body cam footage from Cincinnati shooting contradicts official story

    A University of Cincinnati police officer has been indicted for murder after body camera footage contradicted his official story outlining the events that led to the shooting death of unarmed Cincinnati driver Samuel Dubose.

    Reuters Videos
  • Dashcam catches off-duty cop threatening to put 'hole in head' of driver

    Technically Incorrect: A Massachusetts driver makes a wrong turn. What happens next, all filmed on his dashcam, has led to an investigation. And yes, it's now on YouTube.

    CNET
  • Hidden Security Cameras Are Shocking Surprise For Daughter

    DEAR ABBY: I'm a 19-year-old woman in college who still lives with my parents. I found out something several weeks ago that's bothering me, and I need advice badly. Years ago, after a robbery, my parents installed security cameras outside our house. I knew about them because they were visible. But…

    Dear Abby
  • Colorado theater shooter's dad saw wide-eyed smirk before

    CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — James Holmes came home on winter break from graduate school looking haggard and making odd facial expressions, but his father didn't suspect at the time that he was descending into mental illness.

    Associated Press
  • Russia reassures Israel over Iran nuclear deal

    Russian President Vladimir Putin told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday that the deal on Iran's nuclear program would improve security in the Middle East and guaranteed that Tehran would not acquire nuclear arms. Israel plans to lobby the U.S. Congress not to approve the…

    Reuters
  • View

    Creeping vines, abandoned village (20 photos)

    Just a handful of people still live in a village on Shengshan Island east of Shanghai that was once home to more than 2,000 fishermen. Every day hundreds of tourists visit Houtouwan, making their way on narrow footpaths past tumbledown houses overtaken by vegetation. The remote village, on one of…

    Yahoo News
  • At least '18 dead' in IS attack on Kurd-held Syria town

    At least 18 people were killed Thursday when Islamic State group jihadists attacked a town in northern Syria recently captured by Kurdish forces, a monitor said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said several IS fighters infiltrated Sarrin, in Aleppo province, and attacked a school…

    AFP
  • Police Officer Involved in Deadly Cincinnati Shooting of Samuel DuBose Indicted for Murder, Dismissed from Force

    "I'm treating him like a murderer," prosecutor Joseph Deters said during a news conference when describing the warrant out for a police officer who killed Samuel DuBose, 43, earlier this month. Footage released today from a police officer's body cam lasts about 10 minutes and shows the shooting.…

    ABC News
  • Goat's head nearly severed in brutal knife attack in Idaho

    A small goat was nearly decapitated and another goat died from a "heinous" knife attack on the animals in a fenced and locked site where they had been placed to graze on weeds in northern Idaho, a police spokeswoman said on Wednesday. A third goat is being treated for a knife wound in its back from…

    Reuters
  • Internet mauls dentist accused of illegal kill of popular lion

    Technically Incorrect: Walter Palmer, a dentist in Minnesota, has his Yelp entry attacked by those not fond of his allegedly illegal killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe.

    CNET