Deadly Ebola virus has spread to the country of Senegal

By Michelle Kapusta,

The deadly Ebola virus has hit another African nation with a reported case in Senegal.

Reuters noted that Health Minister Awa Marie Coll Seck confirmed the country’s first case during a news conference on Friday.

Seck said that the patient is a male university student from Guinea. Epidemiological surveillance lost track of the student weeks ago and warned Senegalese authorities that he came in contact with infected individuals and could himself be infected with Ebola.

The young man sought treatment at a hospital in Senegal’s capital of Dakar earlier this week, but did not mention that he had contact with any infected persons. Doctors tested him and concluded that he did in fact have Ebola.

"The results of tests carried out by the Pasteur Institute in Dakar were positive," Seck said.

Two weeks ago, the Team USA basketball team canceled a trip to Senegal over fears that players could possibly contract the virus. However, at that time, there were no cases reported in the country and the risk of becoming infected there was said to be low.

The often-fatal virus has plagued other nations in West Africa including Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria for the past several months and has claimed the lives of more than 1,500 people.

The World Health Organization has warned that the outbreak could infect as many as 20,000 people before it is all over.

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