Date
20 August 2017
Healthcare workers in protective suits work at a high-risk area for Ebola victims in a hospital run by Medecins Sans Frontieres in Monrovia, capital of Liberia, on Saturday. Photo: AFP
Healthcare workers in protective suits work at a high-risk area for Ebola victims in a hospital run by Medecins Sans Frontieres in Monrovia, capital of Liberia, on Saturday. Photo: AFP

Guinean student brings Ebola to Senegal

Authorities in Senegal are tracing everyone who came in contact with a Guinean student who traveled to the country and tested positive for Ebola in the capital Dakar on Friday, the Associated Press reported.

The case makes Senegal the fifth country in West Africa to be affected by an outbreak of the disease that has killed more than 1,500 people.

Senegal has already closed its land border with Guinea, where the outbreak originated, and barred air and sea travel from Sierra Leone and Liberia to keep the disease out, according to the news agency.

The 21-year-old student showed up at a hospital in Dakar on Aug. 26 but did not reveal that he had been in contact with other Ebola victims, the report said, citing Health Minister Awa Marie Coll Seck.

The next day, doctors in neighboring Guinea alerted Senegalese authorities that it had lost track of a person it was monitoring three weeks earlier, and that the person may have crossed into Senegal.

The student was tracked to the hospital in Dakar that same day and was immediately quarantined, and a test confirmed he had Ebola, Seck said.

The World Health Organization said the student arrived in Dakar by road on Aug. 20 and was staying with relatives “in the outskirts of the city”.

On Aug. 23, he went to a medical facility seeking treatment for fever, diarrhea and vomiting, all symptoms of Ebola.

He was treated for malaria, however, and continued to stay with his relatives before turning up at the Dakar hospital on Aug. 26.

“Though the investigation is in its early stages, he is not presently known to have traveled elsewhere,” the WHO said in a statement.

A doctor monitoring the student’s case said on Sunday he “is doing very well”.

“This morning when I called the hospital, the doctor told me that the patient had no complaints and that his fever had disappeared,” Dr. Gallaye Ka told private radio station RFM.

The WHO has vowed to immediately provide support and supplies including hygiene kits and personal protective equipment for health workers in the country, AP said.

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CG

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