Authorities Move Quickly To Isolate Lone Ebola Case
French medical experts arrived in this secluded village Saturday to prevent an outbreak of Ebola after a lone case was diagnosed, the first since the deadly virus killed 244 people earlier this year.
The victim, identified only as a 25-year-old man from neighboring Liberia, was isolated in a white tent marked “No visitors” in a corner of a Gozon clinic. Heavy black plastic sheeting was draped around the tent, and clinic workers kept onlookers at a distance.
The World Health Organization said Friday night that the man appeared to be recovering from the virus, which has an 80 percent fatality rate. But French health workers from the aid agency Doctors Without Borders, which runs the clinic, refused to provide any information Saturday.
There were unconfirmed reports that medical personnel who treated the man also had been placed in isolation.
The WHO and the Ivorian government confirmed the Ebola case on Friday and have stressed that it is an isolated incident, unlike the May outbreak in Kikwit, Zaire, which afflicted 315 people, killing 244.
That outbreak put governments throughout west Africa on alert, so Ivorian authorities responded quickly when the Liberian arrived in Gozon last week with Ebola symptoms, which include severe vomiting, diarrhea and fever.
Tests performed at the Pasteur Institute in Paris confirmed that the man had Ebola, a virus whose cause and cure are unknown.
The virus has appeared only sporadically since first being identified in 1976, but its high fatality rate, painful symptoms and propensity to spread quickly make it one of the most dreaded maladies.
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