DAKAR- A Guinean student who brought Ebola to Senegal has recovered from the disease and is resting before he is expected to return home, Senegal's health minister said on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old was the first confirmed case in Senegal, raising fears the disease may spread in a fifth nation in West Africa. The world's worst recorded outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever has already killed at least 2,296 people, mostly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Senegalese authorities are still monitoring 67 people who came into contact with the Guinean student during his 1,000-km land journey across the border from southwest Guinea, but authorities said there are no other suspected cases in Senegal. "The results from the latest analysis of the imported case of the Ebola virus are negative. These results show that the patient has recovered and is no longer contagious," Health Minister Awa Marie Coll Seck told reporters in Dakar. "He is currently recovering ... before returning to his country," Coll Seck said.
Some 33 people have been placed under quarantine in a house in the teeming neighbourhood of Parcelles Assainies where the Guinean student stayed with an uncle after arriving in Dakar in late August.
The World Health Organisation said on Tuesday there were two suspected cases of Ebola in Senegal. However, the UN agency said on Wednesday that the individuals who had shown signs of illness on Sept. 3 and 4 had tested negative for the virus.
The WHO has said the epidemic is spreading exponentially in the worst affected country, Liberia, and it expects thousands of new cases there in the next three weeks.
The Guinean student's arrival in Senegal with Ebola sparked anger in the country and Senegal's government warned that other cases from countries whose health systems have been overwhelmed by Ebola should not follow his tracks. "We did everything that we thought we should do for this patient and thank God he survived but that does not mean that people should come from all over to get treated in Senegal,"Coll Seck said.