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Ebola fears: Senegal closes border with Guinea

Senegal closes border with Guinea and bans ships and planes from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia due to fears of Ebola.
By Danielle Haynes   |   Aug. 22, 2014 at 7:46 PM

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DAKAR, Senegal, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- The West African nation of Senegal closed its borders with Guinea and barred all aircraft and ships coming from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia over fears of an Ebola virus outbreak, officials said.

Dr. Eva Marie Colle Seck, Senegal's health minister told the BBC the travel ban, announced by the interior ministry, would not affect the transportation of humanitarian aid.

The World Health Organization said travel bans rarely work because they're impossible to enforce.

Senegal is situated to the northwest of Guinea, which shares a border with Sierra Leone and Liberia to the southwest. Those three countries have been the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak, of which there are a suspected 2,615 cases and 1,427 deaths as of Friday.

No vaccine or cure currently exists for the flu-like virus, which causes fever with chills, joint pain, muscle pain and chest pain.

Since it was first discovered in 1976, the disease has infected fewer than 2,000 people, mostly in the tropical regions of Sub-Saharan Africa. It resides in infected pigs, monkeys and fruit bats, and can be transferred to humans.

In some cases there is up to a 90 percent mortality rate. The mortality rate of the current outbreak is a bit more than 50 percent.

Follow @DanielleHaynes1 and @UPI on Twitter.
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