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On Aug. 30, 2014, Senegal’s Ministry of Public Health and Social Affairs provided the World Health Organization (WHO) with details about a case of Ebola virus disease (EVD) announced in that country on Aug. 29, 2014. WHO has also received details of the emergency investigation immediately launched by the government. Testing and confirmation of Ebola were undertaken by a laboratory at the Institut Pasteur in Dakar.
The case is a 21-year-old male native of Guinea, who arrived in Dakar on Aug. 20 and stayed with relatives at a home in the outskirts of the city. On Aug. 23 he sought medical care for symptoms that included fever, diarrhea and vomiting. He received treatment for malaria, but did not improve and left the facility. After leaving the facility, he continued to reside with his relatives. Though the investigation is in its early stages, he is not presently known to have traveled elsewhere.
On Aug. 26 he was referred to a specialized facility for infectious diseases, still showing the same symptoms, and was hospitalized. On Aug. 27 authorities in Conakry, Guinea, issued an alert, informing medical services in Guinea and neighboring countries, that a person who was a close contact of a confirmed EVD patient had escaped the surveillance system. That alert prompted testing at the Dakar laboratory, launched an investigation, and triggered urgent contact tracing.
WHO is treating this first case in Senegal as a top priority emergency. Key operational personnel were dispatched to Dakar on Aug. 30; others will follow.
The government of Senegal has informed WHO of the urgent need for epidemiological support, personal protective equipment and hygiene kits. These needs will be met with the fastest possible speed.
WHO continues to monitor for reports of rumored or suspected cases from countries around the world and systematic verification of these cases is ongoing. Countries are encouraged to continue engaging in active surveillance and preparedness activities.
WHO does not recommend any travel or trade restrictions be applied except in cases where individuals have been confirmed or are suspected of being infected with EVD or where individuals have had contact with cases of EVD. (Contacts do not include properly-protected healthcare workers and laboratory staff.)