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Ebola reaches Congo-Rwanda border

A worker from the World Health Organization decontaminates a doorway in the village of Mabalako in eastern Congo. Associated Press/Photo by Al-hadji Kudra Maliro (file)

Ebola reaches Congo-Rwanda border

Health officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday confirmed the first Ebola case in the city of Goma along the border with Rwanda since the outbreak began nearly a year ago. The health ministry said the case involves a pastor who traveled by bus from one of the worst-hit towns of Butembo to Goma after he fell sick on Tuesday.

Ebola cases in Congo have topped 2,000 since August, and more than 1,600 people have died in the world’s second-worst outbreak of the disease. Last month, health officials reported the first cross-border transmission in Uganda. Health ministries in neighboring towns remain on alert and have already vaccinated frontline health workers.

Congo’s health ministry said it tracked down all passengers who shared a bus with the infected man. “Because of the speed with which the patient was identified and isolated, and the identification of all the other bus passengers coming from Butembo, the risk of it spreading in the rest of the city of Goma is small,” the agency said in a statement.

Mark Cassayre, the top U.S. diplomat in Geneva, on Monday said the United States would “provide more in the coming months” to aid the response to the outbreak. European Union Ambassador Walter Stevens said the bloc would also review the possibility of scaling up its response. —O.O.

Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria.



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