French official: Key week for Ebola fight in Mali

AP News
Posted: Nov 17, 2014 9:59 AM

PARIS (AP) — The French president's point man on Ebola says this is a "decisive week" for Mali in its efforts to block the spread of the virus.

Jean-Francois Delfraissy says a handful of recent cases in the landlocked African country "could be the start of a new epidemic" even though the World Health Organization hasn't yet officially confirmed one in Mali.

Delfraissy, an infectious diseases expert who heads President Francois Hollande's task force on fighting Ebola, told The Associated Press on Monday that about six French epidemiologists have traveled to Mali in recent days.

For nearly a year, Mali was spared the virus now blamed for killing over 5,000 people in West Africa.

Former colonial ruler France last year largely ousted al-Qaida-linked jihadis who had controlled much of northeastern Mali.