Ebola outbreak reaches Senegal, riots break out in Guinea

2014-08-30 09:17

Dakar/Conakry – The West African state of Senegal became the fifth country to be touched by the world’s worst Ebola outbreak, while riots broke out in neighbouring Guinea’s remote southeast where infection rates are rising fast.

In the latest sign that the outbreak of the virus, which has already killed at least 1 550 people, is spinning out of control, the World Health Organisation said yesterday that Ebola cases rose last week at the fastest pace since the epidemic began in West Africa in March.

The epidemic has defied efforts by governments to control it, prompting the leading charity fighting the outbreak, Médecins Sans Frontières, to call for the UN Security Council to take charge of efforts to stop it.

Including the fatalities, more than 3 000 have been infected since the virus was detected.

Senegal’s first case is a student from Guinea.

Senegalese Health Minister Awa Marie Coll Seck said the man turned up for treatment at a hospital in the capital Dakar on Tuesday, concealing the fact that he had had close contact with victims in his home country. Tests at the Pasteur Institute in Dakar showed he had the disease.

“We are tracing his whole itinerary and also identifying anyone who had contact with the patient, who now that he has been diagnosed, is much more cooperative and supplied all the necessary information,” the minister said.

A Health Ministry official, who asked not to be named, said that the 21-year-old crossed into Senegal via its southern border with Guinea and had been living in the densely populated Dakar suburb of Parcelles Assainies for three weeks. He added that the man appeared to have a good chance of recovering.

The man had been under surveillance by health authorities in Guinea because of his contact with Ebola victims but escaped to Senegal, Seck said.

Residents in Dakar reacted with anger and concern. “When you are sick, why do you leave your own country to export the disease to another?” asked radio host Taib Soce on RFM, a popular station.

In an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus, Senegal last week banned flights to and from three of the affected countries and shut its land border with Guinea.

The country, a regional hub for UN agencies and aid groups, has also refused to give clearance for UN aid flights to Ebola-hit countries in a move that humanitarian workers say is hampering their ability to respond to the epidemic.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.