Nigeria and Senegal Declared Ebola-Free
The Ebola outbreaks in Senegal and Nigeria are declared over (WHO). Because Ebola remains so prevalent in West Africa, the risk for new infections in these countries remains, but neither country has experienced an Ebola case for more than 42 days.
U.S. Security Measures
As the conditions of the two Dallas nurses hospitalized after treating Ebola patient Thomas Duncan improve (Washington Post), the United States is increasing Ebola security efforts. Air travelers from West Africa can now only enter the United States through five airports, and passengers from countries with Ebola will be monitored for 21 days. To date, of the 562 passengers that have arrived and been monitored, none have tested positive for Ebola (Foreign Policy). The Obama Administration has also appointed an Ebola Czar, meant to improve efficiency and coordination in the federal government’s Ebola response efforts (CBS NEWS).
Cases, Deaths and Locations
As of October 22, the total number of West African Ebola outbreak cases, including cases in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone as well as travel-associated cases in the U.S. and Spain, stands at 9,936 with 4,877 deaths (WHO).
Central Africa’s separate Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has still not reported a new Ebola case since September 24, with death and case totals holding at 43 and 70 respectively (AllAfrica.com).
Health officials in Uganda, where a death from a disease similar to Ebola, the Marburg Virus, was first reported on October 5, have declared that all suspected cases have tested negative for the virus and everyone previously held in isolation has been released (AllAfrica.com).
WHO officials suspect that although the reported death toll is near 5,000, the actual Ebola death toll in West Africa could be as high as 15,000 (Reuters), and as the epidemic expands it erases the many hard-won advances that the affected nations made in recent years (NY Times).