There is “no proof” of the presence of the Ebola virus in Côte d’Ivoire, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Tuesday. New analyzes by the Institut Pasteur in Lyon were carried out on samples taken from a young Guinean presented by the Ivorian authorities as infected, in mid-August.
“With the new results obtained by the laboratory in Lyon, the WHO estimates that the patient did not have Ebola virus disease and further analyzes on the cause of her disease are in progress”, indicates a press release from the ‘WHO.
“Since the Ivory Coast announced the detection of the case” on August 14 on an 18-year-old Guinean who arrived in Abidjan by road from her country after a trip of 1500 km, “more than 140 contacts have been listed in the two countries. No other person has shown symptoms of the disease, nor has tested positive for Ebola, ”adds the WHO. As a result, the organization “is now downgrading its interventions in Côte d’Ivoire from the level of response to that of a state of alert”.
Ten days after the announcement of the case presented as being the Ebola virus, following analyzes by the Pasteur Institute in Abidjan, the Ivorian health ministry announced that the young woman was “cured”.
This discovery was presented as the first confirmed case of Ebola in Côte d’Ivoire since 1994, in this neighboring country of Guinea which was hard hit from 2013 to 2016 and where the virus reappeared in 2021.
The Ivorian health authorities had received 5,000 doses of Ebola vaccine. On August 17, they started a vaccination campaign for target groups, the nursing staff who were in immediate contact with the patient and the security forces deployed on the border with Guinea.
The relatives and neighbors of the young woman from the district of Abidjan where she had briefly resided after her arrival, had also been vaccinated, as well as those who had been in contact with her during her trip.
Guinea quickly questioned the diagnosis made by Côte d’Ivoire and demanded new analyzes. In response, the Ivorian health ministry said it had no “doubt” about the diagnosis.
“The Guinean authorities doubt the clinical diagnosis, I do not doubt my analysis, I am an infectious disease specialist and clinician, we cannot be wrong in the clinical presentation,” Serge Eholié, spokesperson for the ministry, told AFP. of Health and head of the infectious and tropical diseases department of the Treichville CHU in Abidjan, who took in the patient.