Ebola spreads to Rwanda border

Rwanda map and flag

The Democratic Republic of Congo has confirmed the first case of Ebola in Goma, which is the capital of the country’s North Kivu province and lies on the Rwanda border.

The World Health Organization had already identified that the outbreak in the DRC poses a high risk of introduction into neighbouring countries, including Rwanda, and these countries have been advised by WHO to ‘urgently strengthen their surveillance and alert systems for early detection of potential cases, and overall preparedness for timely and effective response’.

It was confirmed that a pastor tested positive for the virus after arriving at a centre in Goma after travelling there by bus on Sunday 14 July. He had previously been in Butembo, where he had been in contact with people with Ebola.

The health ministry stated that the risk of the virus spreading to the rest of Goma is not high: "Due to the speed with which the patient has been identified and isolated, as well as the identification of all passengers from Butembo, the risk of spreading to the rest of the city of Goma remains low.” It also said that the bus driver and passengers who were on the bus with the infected person will be vaccinated.