Ebola Resource Center

Ebola Resource Center

April 28, 2015
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Prompt contact tracing disrupts Ebola virus transmission into Senegal

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After a confirmed case of Ebola virus in Senegal, the prompt implementation of contact tracing was successfully executed and Senegal was declared Ebola free on Oct. 17, 2014, according to data presented at the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service conference in Atlanta.

The researchers followed a case of Ebola virus disease reported on Aug. 29 in a Guinean student who had recently arrived in Senegal, to evaluate the effectiveness of contact tracing in interrupting disease transmission. The tracing was performed by a small team of CDC personnel sent to the area following a request for aid from the Senegalese Ministry of Health.

The researchers identified 67 contacts; 34 resided in the same household as the patient, and 33 were health care workers. During infection control training 13 days later, seven additional health care workers self-identified as contacts, bringing the total to 74 contacts.

Contacts were required to undergo voluntary in-home quarantine, with twice-daily temperature monitoring. On the first day of monitoring, 51% of the originally identified contacts were seen, which increased to 90% by the fifth day. Household contacts demonstrated adherence at all visits. However, some physician contacts were reluctant to submit to in-home voluntary isolation and temperature monitoring by nonmedical volunteers.

Kelsey Mirkovic

During monitoring, symptoms consistent with Ebola virus disease were reported by four contacts; laboratory testing was negative for all four cases. All 74 contacts finished the 21-day monitoring, and no additional cases of the disease occurred.

“Neighboring West African countries need to prepare for potential imported cases of Ebola,” Kelsey Mirkovic, PhD, of the CDC, told Infectious Disease News. “In Senegal, preparation quickly shifted to response after the identification of their first Ebola case.” – by Jen Byrne

For more information:
Mirkovic K, et al. Rapid Containment of Ebola Using Contact Tracing Following an Imported Case of Ebola Virus Disease — Senegal, 2014. Presented at: the Annual Epidemic Intelligence Service Conference; April 20-23, 2015; Atlanta.

Disclosure: Mirkovic reports no relevant financial disclosures.