The health minister of Senegal had confirmed the country’s first case of Ebola, which has now made it the fifth West African country to be affected by the outbreak.
Awa Marie Coll Seck had told reporters on Friday that a man from Guinea, despite being infected with the virus had travelled to Senegal, although he was immediately placed in quarantine.
Senegal had closed its border with Guinea in order to stop the spread of Ebola as much as possible, also banning flights and ships from the three worst-affected countries: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The infected man, a student from Guinea had gone to a hospital in Senegal’s capital Dakar for treatment last Tuesday, however he did not inform staff he had been in contact with Ebola patients in his own country.
The day after, Guinean health services had reported “the disappearance of a person infected with Ebola who reportedly travelled to Senegal.”
Residents in the capital Dakar reacted to this news with anger, with one host on a Senegalese radio station asking, “When you are sick, why do you leave your own country to export the disease to another?”
Prof. Peter Piot, who co-discovered Ebola in 1974, told the AP news agency said that this case was “not expected”.
“I think it illustrates the ineffectiveness of closing borders and cancelling flights. People will still find a way to get around.”