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updated: 8/29/2014 8:39 AM

Senegal confirms its first case of Ebola

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  • Red Cross workers walk through a section of West Point, an area that has been hit hard by the Ebola virus, with residents not allowed to leave as government forces clamp down on movement to prevent the spread of Ebola, in Monrovia, Liberia.

      Red Cross workers walk through a section of West Point, an area that has been hit hard by the Ebola virus, with residents not allowed to leave as government forces clamp down on movement to prevent the spread of Ebola, in Monrovia, Liberia.
    Associated Press

 
By BABACAR DIONE
Associated Press

DAKAR, Senegal -- Senegal has recorded its first case of Ebola in an outbreak that is ravaging its West African neighbors, the Ministry of Health said Friday.

The infected person is a young man from Guinea, Health Minister Awa Marie Coll Seck told reporters.

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The outbreak that has killed more than 1,500 people began last year in Guinea, which shares a border with Senegal. Since then, the disease has spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. At least 3,000 people have contracted the virus.

The arrival of the dreaded disease in Senegal, whose capital Dakar is a major transportation hub for the region, is likely to increase fears about the disease's uncontrolled spread even further.

The World Health Organization has warned that the outbreak is worsening and offered new evidence of its acceleration Friday, saying the past week has seen the highest increase of cases since the outbreak began.

The U.N. health agency has warned that the disease could eventually infect 20,000 people, and unveiled a plan Thursday to stop transmission in the next six to nine months.

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