WHO declares Ebola outbreak in Senegal over

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GENEVA: World Health Organization (WHO) declared on Friday that the Ebola outbreak in Senegal is finished and commended the country on its diligence in ending the transmission of the virus.

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In a statement issued this afternoon, the WHO praised Senegal’s response as a good example of what to do when faced with an imported case of Ebola.

The Ebola case in Senegal was confirmed on Aug. 29 when a young man traveled overland from Guinea – where he had been in direct contact with an Ebola patient – to Dakar, the capital of Senegal

In a swift reaction to stop the deadly disease from spreading, the Senegalese government launched response plans. These included identifying and monitoring 74 close contacts of the patient, promptly testing all suspected cases, stepping-up surveillance at the country’s many entry points, and broadcasting nationwide public awareness campaigns.

The WHO said it treated this case as a public health emergency and immediately dispatched a team of epidemiologists to work alongside Senegalese authorities and other partners.

The patient recovered in September and has since returned to Guinea.

“Senegal has maintained a high level of active ‘case finding’ for 42 days – twice the maximum incubation period of the Ebola virus disease – to detect possible unreported cases of infection,” the statement read.

But the WHO warned that despite the Ebola outbreak being officially over in Senegal, the geographical position of the country – which borders Guinea, a country that is severely affected by Ebola – makes the country vulnerable to additional imported cases of Ebola. Senegal continues to remain vigilant of any suspected cases by keeping in strict compliance with WHO guidelines.PNA

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