On the same day health officials said Nigeria and Senegal had managed to halt their Ebola virus disease outbreaks, the U.S. reported its first case of Ebola, sparking concerns the patient in Dallas could expose others to the virus. While U.S. health leaders said Tuesday the crisis is under control and the public has nothing to fear, it’s clear the nation needs a quick and thorough response to its first Ebola patient. Best practices in Nigeria and Senegal suggest the U.S. should monitor all individuals who may have been exposed to Ebola and establish a dedicated management and response system.
Senegal has had no reported cases of Ebola since Sept. 18 and Nigeria has had no new ones since Aug. 31, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. The official end of Ebola in Nigeria is expected to come Thursday, when two potential Ebola patients will exit the 21-day quarantine period. “Although Nigeria isn’t completely out of the woods, their extensive response to a single case of Ebola shows that control is possible with rapid, focused interventions,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a statement.
How Nigeria Stopped The Spread Of Ebola
Nigeria’s first reported case of Ebola surfaced July 20, when a sick passenger from Liberia landed in Lagos. The passenger exposed 72 people to the virus, but Nigeria’s Port Health Services quickly issued notifications and tracked everybody who may have been in contact with the patient. Nigeria also established an Ebola Incident Management Center to handle the potential outbreak. “The team developed a staffing plan that executed a social mobilization strategy that reached more than 26,000 households of people living around the contacts of Ebola patients,” the CDC noted.
How Senegal Contained Ebola
Senegal confirmed its first Ebola case Aug. 29 after a man, traveling from Guinea Aug. 14, fell ill and showed symptoms of the disease. A quick response, including an experienced and trained staff that was prepared to contain an Ebola outbreak, led to the identification of 67 contacts. The people were placed under voluntary quarantine, monitored for 21 days and showed no symptoms of Ebola.