The world Health Organization said Friday that it has sent a team of experts to Mali, which became the sixth African country to witness an Ebola case after a 2-year-old tested positive for the virus. A spokesperson reportedly said that WHO is monitoring 43 people, including 10 health workers, who are suspected to have come in contact with the infected girl.
Fadela Chaib, a spokesperson for WHO said, according to Reuters, that at least four more health workers will depart for Mali in the coming days to add to the existing three-person team there. The 2-year-old girl, who came from the neighboring country of Guinea, tested positive for Ebola on Wednesday in a hospital in the town of Kayes, about 375 miles from the capital, Bamako.
“The sick child and the people who were in contact with her in Kayes were immediately identified and taken care of,” Ousmane Kone, Mali’s health minister, said according to the Associated Press, or AP.
An internal report from WHO said, according to AP, that a series of mistakes, including its own “failure to see that conditions for explosive spread were present right at the start,” led to the disease getting out of control. The Ebola virus has so far killed nearly 4,900 people and has infected nearly 10,000 people, mostly in West Africa.
Anthony Banbury, head of the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response, said, according to AP: “The world has never seen a serious, grave and complex crisis of this nature where people are dying every day with unsafe burial practices.”