The World Health Organization said on Sunday it was treating Senegal’s first confirmed Ebola case “as a top priority emergency.”
The patient is a 21-year-old student from Guinea who crossed into the country to go to a Senegalese hospital.
Senegal is now the fifth country in West Africa to be affected by the outbreak which has killed more than 1,500 people.
Meanwhile scientists say they believe the outbreak of Ebola began at a traditional healer’s funeral in Sierra Leone close to the border with Guinea where
14 women were infected. The healer was known for treating a ‘mysterious illness’ which then turned out to be Ebola.
Tom Frieden, Director of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, said the way to eliminate the disease was to support communities.
“If there is anything good about Ebola is that we know exactly what to do about it. If we make it safe to take care of people, whether in home or in centres, and we make it safe to bury people who’ve died, Ebola goes away. Communities that have done that in many parts of Guinea have been able to stop chains of transmission and are Ebola-free now,” he said.
A separate Ebola outbreak was reported this week in Congo, where 13 people have died from the disease.