Mali confirmed that it has found three suspected victims of Ebola, the deadly disease that has killed 84 people in Guinea.
"Three suspected cases of haemorrhagic fever have been detected in the country. Samples have been taken and sent abroad for analysis," the country's Health Minister Ousmane Kone told AFP.
Pending results from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where the samples were sent, the patients were isolated and were receiving appropriate medication.
The government said in a statement the patients' condition was currently improving.
The results of the tests are to be made public as soon as they are known.
Mali neighbours Guinea, where the epidemic has killed 84 people out of 134 cases registered since January, mainly in southern parts of the country, according to the latest Guinean government toll.
Liberia, where seven people have died of haemorrhagic fever since last month, said on Thursday it was dealing with the first case of suspected Ebola to have originated within its own borders.
If confirmed, the case in the eastern town of Tapeta would mark a worrying development in the fight against Ebola, as cases so far have been attributed to people returning with the infection from Guinea.
Ebola can be transmitted to humans from wild animals, and between humans through direct contact with another's blood, faeces or sweat. Sexual contact, or the unprotected handling of contaminated corpses, can also lead to infection.