Deadly Ebola epidemic in Senegal ends: WHO

Deadly Ebola epidemic in Senegal ends: WHO

Fri Oct 17, 2014 11:19PM GMT

The World Health Organization (WHO) says the outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease has ended in Senegal.

In a statement released on Friday, the WHO said it “commends the country on its diligence to end the transmission of the virus.”

The UN health agency hailed Senegal’s response to Ebola which “included identifying and monitoring 74 close contacts of the patient, prompt testing of all suspected cases, stepped-up surveillance at the country’s many entry points and nationwide public awareness campaigns.”

The statement came following the 42-day mark, which is twice the maximum incubation period for the disease, without any new cases since Senegal’s single, non-fatal Ebola case on August 29.

The case was confirmed in a young man who had travelled to the Senegalese capital Dakar from Guinea, where he had direct contact with an Ebola patient.

His laboratory samples tested negative on September 5, showing that he had recovered from Ebola.

The WHO will also declare Nigeria Ebola free on Monday if no new cases emerge in the country, in which the last case was detected on August 31.

Latest figures issued by the WHO show that 4,555 people have died from Ebola out of a total of 9,216 suspected and confirmed cases, as of October 14.

The health agency has admitted to failure in anticipating the current scope of the Ebola outbreak and falling short of giving a quick and appropriate response.

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama has announced that a travel ban from West African countries hit by Ebola would not be effective against the spread of the deadly disease.

Ebola is a form of hemorrhagic fever whose symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding.

The virus spreads through direct contact with infected blood, feces or sweat. It can also be spread through sexual contact or the unprotected handling of contaminated corpses.

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