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Senegal Just Eradicated Ebola. It Implemented Travel Bans Back In August

The World Health Organization just announced that Senegal has “ended Ebola transmission” within its borders. The country instituted a travel ban in August.

According to a press release this morning from the World Health Organization (WHO), the African country of Senegal has effectively ended the transmission of Ebola within its borders:

The World Health Organization (WHO) will declare the end of the outbreak of Ebola virus in Senegal today after the after active surveillance found the country to be free of the disease.

How did Senegal manage this feat, despite being so close to Ebola hot spots like Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea? It closed off its borders to travelers from high-risk Ebola countries. According to International SOS, an international company which helps countries manage travel-related health and security risks, Senegal closed its land borders and restricted air entry back in August:

Senegal on 21 August closed its land border with Guinea, while the country’s sea and air borders will also be closed to vessels and aircraft from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Now, some people might look at this and say, “Big deal. There was only one case in Senegal in the first place. Keeping one case from transmitting the disease isn’t all that hard.”

Maybe. But it’s a feat that the United States failed to achieve, and the U.S. doesn’t even have to worry, like Senegal does, about having a land border with a country like Guinea, where a full-blown Ebola outbreak was declared back in March.

Senegal, however, isn’t the only African country to have successfully battled the Ebola epidemic. If no new cases are identified in Nigeria, WHO plans to declare that country Ebola free on Monday, October 20. And how did Nigeria respond to the epidemic? It also implemented selective air travel bans according to the Wall Street Journal:

Nigeria and Ivory Coast on Monday restricted flights from Ebola-infected countries, underscoring fears of the virus in West Africa spreading globally by air travel.

Meanwhile, the White House continues to oppose Ebola-related travel bans in the U.S.

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