Following an Ebola outbreak that began in August, Senegal has effectively stopped the spread of the deadly virus through the country through diligent efforts by the government, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Friday.
The initial case of Ebola, confirmed via lab testing on Aug. 29, was a man from Guinea who was traveling on foot through the area and had been exposed to the virus.
Led by President Macky Sall and Minister of Health Dr. Awa Coll-Seck, the government closely monitored 74 people who had been in close contact with the initial patient. The WHO responded by teaming up with epidemiologists, the Ministry of Health, Médecins sans Frontières and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent a pandemic.
Lab tests confirmed that the initial patient had recovered from the virus on Sept. 5 and returned to Guinea on Sept. 18. Senegal continued to monitor for possible cases of Ebola for 42 days, which is twice the incubation period of the virus. Although the scare is said to be over, the government will continue to stay on guard due to the area's close proximity to areas at-risk for the spread of Ebola.