Despite the public outcry and fear over the deadly disease, the U.N health agency officially declared an end Friday to the Ebola outbreak in Senegal, which still remains out of control in three West African countries.
A case of Ebola in Senegal was confirmed on August 29 in a young man who had travelled by road to Dakar from Guinea, where he had direct contact with an Ebola patient.
By September 5, laboratory samples from the patient tested negative, indicating that he had recovered from Ebola and is able to return to Guinea on September 18.
The World Health Organization said it “commends the country on its diligence to end the transmission of the virus,” citing Senegal’s quick and thorough response.
Cases are still spreading in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, with more than 4,500 deaths.
However, Nigeria, which had 20 cases and eight deaths after the virus was brought by a Liberian-American who flew from Liberia to Lagos, also appears to have been beaten back its advance largely through aggressive tracking of Ebola contacts, with no new cases since August 31.
WHO is prepared to declare Nigeria Ebola free on Monday if no new cases emerge.