Ivory Coast begins Ebola vaccinations

Ivory Coast begins vaccinating health workers in the commercial capital Abidjan against Ebola on Monday after a case of the deadly virus was confirmed over the weekend.

An 18-year-old woman tested positive on Saturday after travelling by bus to Abidjan from neighbouring Guinea. It is Ivory Coast’s first confirmed case of Ebola in 25 years.

Workers at the hospital in Abidjan where the woman was admitted were the first to receive vaccinations as the health ministry officially launched its vaccination campaign. The country has 5 000 doses available, the ministry said.

In total, health authorities have identified nine people the woman came into contact with, including three family members and six hospital staffers, the World Health Organisation (WHO) told partners in a report. The woman and one suspected Ebola case are in hospital, it said.

The WHO has said it is deeply concerned about the virus’ presence in Abidjan, a densely populated city of more than 4 million people.

Ebola spreads through contact with body fluids and typically kills about half of those it infects, although vaccines and new treatments have proved highly effective in reducing fatality rates.

News24