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Africa

Ebola vaccine trials may begin soon, while Mali confirms its first case

media A health worker checking the temperature of a child at the border between Guinea and Mali. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Mali's first case of Ebola coincides with the World Health Organsation's annoucement of vaccine trials to take place in West Africa in early 2015.

Mali’s health ministry has reported its first case of Ebola on Thursday, after a two-year-old girl tested positive after crossing the border from neighbouring Guinea.

Dossier: Ebola outbreak 2014

One day later, the French assistant director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Marie-Paul Kieny, spoke at the United Nations health agency in Geneva, announcing that the organisation hopes to begin vaccine trials in early 2015.

Hundreds of thousands of vaccines could reach West Africa by December.

The WHO had coincidentally deployed a team of specialists to Mali this week to assess the country’s ability to deal with the disease.

This deployment came after announcements earlier in the month that the organisation would be ramping up its Ebola prevention efforts in many African countries, focusing on those nations which have not yet reported cases of the disease, but border those which have.

The health ministry of Mali has not released the identity of the afflicted child, and has asked residents to remain calm.

The child has been put into isolation; 43 people who are suspected to have had contact with the girl are currently under observation, including ten health workers.

Mali is the sixth West African country which has been touched by the epidemic.

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