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Ebola Kills Two In Mali As Death Toll Rises Above 5,000

Mali has reported its second and third Ebola deaths as the death toll in West Africa crosses 5,000. Meanwhile, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) staff at south Sierra Leone's only Ebola treatment center went on strike for two hours over hazard pay. MSF have told BuzzFeed News that the dispute has "been resolved."

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The new cases are not believed to be linked to the only other known case in the nation.

The cases mark a setback for authorities, who just one day ago said said there had been no other reported cases or fatalities there since a two-year-old who traveled to Guinea died from the virus in late October.

The deceased are a traditional Muslim healer in his 50s and a 25-year-old nurse who treated him, the BBC reported.

They were treated at Bamako's Pasteur Clinic, which has now been placed under quarantine. Mali's Communications Minister Mahamadou Camara said the nurse died Tuesday, and tests later confirmed he had Ebola, AP reported.

The nurse's patient was a Guinean national who came to the clinic on Oct. 25. The head of the clinic said he arrived late at night, and was so ill he was unable to speak or give information about his symptoms.

"His family did not give us all the information that would have led us to suspect Ebola," Dramane Maiga told AP.

A doctor at the Pasteur Clinic is also suspected of having contracted Ebola, Reuters reported. Secretary General for Mali's Health Ministry Ousmane Doumbia said that 70 people had been quarantined following the new cases.

The new Malian cases come shortly after the World Health Organization confirmed that 25 of the 100 patients who were suspected of coming into contact with the 2-year-old Ebola sufferer had been released from quarantine.

In a statement, the WHO confirmed the second case of Ebola in Mali is linked to the outbreak in Guinea. However, they said the first and second cases were not linked to each other and involved independent transmission chains.

In its latest report, WHO said there have been 5,160 reported deaths and a total of 14,098 Ebola cases in the six affected countries including Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Spain and the U.S.

The report said there is some evidence that cases are no longer increasing in Guinea and Liberia but Sierra Leone is seeing steep increases. The last Ebola patient in the U.S. was cured and discharged from the hospital Monday.

Meanwhile, the BBC reported that 400 staff at Médecins Sans Frontières, also known as Doctors Without Borders, at southern Sierra Leone's single Ebola treatment center went on strike for two hours in a hazard pay dispute.

Stringer / Reuters

A Doctors Without Borders health worker takes off his protective gear under the surveillance of a colleague at a treatment facility for Ebola victims in Monrovia, Liberia, Sept. 29.

However, MSF told BuzzFeed News the strike is now over.

The staff at the center in Bandajuma, near Bo, were unhappy with the government's failure to pay the pre-agreed weekly $100 payment, the BBC reported.

The striking workers included nurses, porters and cleaners, and there were concerns that the center would have to close if the strike was prolonged.

The charity's emergency co-ordinator in the country, Ewald Stars, told the BBC that around 60 Ebola patients had been left unattended at the center as a result of the action.

The staff said the government had agreed to make the payments — which were to be paid on top of workers' salaries — when the facility was established, but claimed they had received none since September.

The strike in Bo has been resolved and MSF staff are resuming work treating patients in the MSF case management centre (CMC). During the strike a minimum of human resources in the MSF Ebola case management centre was maintained to secure the safe continuation of our activities and treatment of patients.

The deceased nurse in Mali was male. An earlier version of this article said he was female.

Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Francis Whittaker at

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