News / Europe

WHO: First Ebola Case in Senegal Is 'Top Priority Emergency'

A man, center, walks out of a re-opened store after he shopped for daily goods near West Point slum in Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 30, 2014.
A man, center, walks out of a re-opened store after he shopped for daily goods near West Point slum in Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 30, 2014.
Christin Roby

The World Health Organization said it is treating as a "top priority emergency" Senegal’s first confirmed case of Ebola and has sent personnel to Dakar.

A 21-year-old Guinean university student, who was exposed in his home country, traveled overland from his town in southern Guinea three weeks ago to stay with relatives in Dakar, where he became ill.

Residents in Senegal’s capital are worried about the disease but are embracing preventative measures.

At a busy market in Dakar, there has been a rush on bleach and soap. Some pharmacies in the capital are rationing hand sanitizer - one bottle per customer.

Some Senegalese said they are taking preventative measures, such as hand washing, seriously.

Mohamed Sagna said, “I am scared because I don’t know this disease and it is the first time in Senegal.”

He said, “Now we are living with those diseased people, so this causes a big problem for authorities to help people to stay well.”

Some criticism

Along with concern has come some criticism that someone who knew he had been exposed to Ebola and was under health surveillance would travel to Senegal.

Sagna said it was “very inconsiderate for him to expose the disease to Senegal.”

In a nearby supermarket, grocery clerk Awa Diop said that since the announcement of the Ebola case on Friday, families have been clearing the shelves of disinfectants.

Diop said she’s scared. "This disease is bad for you," she said. "It’s deadly. It’s really not good.”

Senegal is the fifth West African country to be hit in the regional outbreak that began earlier this year in Guinea and has killed more than 1,500 people, mostly in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

Ebola has infected about twice as many.
 
The Senegalese government said it is monitoring people who may have had contact with the man for signs of the illness, such as fever or vomiting. They continue to search for others who may have been exposed.

Senegal had closed its land border with Guinea earlier but had reopened it at the time the man crossed. The land borders were again shut on August 21.

Nigeria reports another case

 

Meanwhile, Nigeria said it has a third confirmed case of Ebola disease in the oil hub of Port Harcourt, bringing the country's total confirmed infections to 16, with about 200 people under surveillance, the health minister said on Monday.

 

A doctor in Port Harcourt died last week after treating a person who had been in contact with Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian-American man who was the first recorded case of the virus in Africa's most populous country.

Sawyer flew from Liberia and collapsed at the Lagos airport on July 20.

The doctor's death raised alarm that Ebola, which looked on the verge of being contained in the commercial capital, Lagos, may flare up again elsewhere.

The shift to Port Harcourt shows how easily containment efforts can be undermined.

Nigeria's government acted quickly at the end of July, setting up an isolation ward and monitoring contacts closely. But one of Sawyer's contacts in Lagos avoided quarantine and traveled east to Port Harcourt.

In Sweden, medical officials said a man suspected of having Ebola shows "no signs" of the deadly disease.

Media reports Sunday said the man had recently traveled to a "risk area" for Ebola and was taken to a Stockholm hospital after coming down with a fever.

But Stockholm city officials said Monday that doctors had ruled out the possibility of the virus.

Liberian measures

On Monday, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ordered most civil servants to stay home another month in an effort to stop the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, according to a statement released Monday by her office.

Sirleaf ordered non-essential workers not to come to work and promised that all government workers would still be paid, the AP reported.

Liberia's schools are already closed in the effort to keep large numbers of people from gathering and potentially spreading the disease.

Over the weekend, Liberia's government lifted a quarantine that was imposed as part of efforts to contain the disease.

Residents of West Point, a neighborhood in the capital, Monrovia, had been confined to their area for the past 10 days.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AFP and AP.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Rudy Haugeneder from: Victoria, BC, Canada
September 01, 2014 2:22 PM
Here is something tragic-heroic that should go down in history: The Ebola virus is mutating so fast that standard tests, based on only a few old strains, may show a false negative for someone infected by a new strain. This is the warning left behind by the five co-authors of a new Ebola study (involving 50 researchers) who died of the virus before their research was published. Ignore at our peril.

So far 395 genetic changes have been documented. On the broad front, not only has the number of cases and deaths been increasing exponentially, a 5th country has joined the Ebola Club - Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, and now, Senegal, with 12 cases. Plus, a different strain has begun to make itself felt in the Democratic Republic of Congo.Here is a toast to the heroic five.
Anthony Marr, founder
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
In Response

by: Anonymous
September 08, 2014 2:25 PM
Only 1 confirmed case in Senegal and outstanding efforts of containment. Please make sure information you give are accurate and do not cause unnecessary panics.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs