DAKAR, Senegal – The effort to contain Ebola in Senegal is a top priority emergency, the World Health Organization said Sunday, as the government continued tracing everyone who came in contact with a Guinean student who has tested positive for the deadly disease in the capital, Dakar.
Senegal faces an urgent need for support and supplies including hygiene kits and personal protective equipment for health workers, the WHO said in a statement Sunday.
The U.N. health agency provided new information on the movements of the 21-year-old student in the city before he was diagnosed with Ebola.
Senegal confirmed that the student had tested positive for Ebola on Friday, making the country the fifth in West Africa to be affected by an outbreak that has killed more than 1,500 people.
The student showed up at a hospital in Dakar on Aug. 26 but did not reveal that he had been in contact with other Ebola victims, said Health Minister Awa Marie Coll Seck.
The next day, an epidemiological surveillance team in neighboring Guinea alerted Senegalese authorities that it had lost track of a person it was monitoring three weeks earlier.
The student was tracked to the hospital in Dakar that same day and was immediately quarantined, and a test confirmed he had Ebola, Seck said.