Rwanda closes border with Congo as 3rd Ebola case confirmed in Goma
Goma/Kigali - A year after the start of the deadly Ebola outbreak in Congo, a third case has been confirmed in Goma, authorities said Thursday, as neighbouring Rwanda closed the border between the two countries.
On Wednesday, a man died of the highly-contagious virus in Goma, and it is his 1-year-old daughter who is now the third confirmed case in the city of about 2 million.
"There's a third confirmed case. It's the daughter of the patient who died yesterday," Aruna Abedi, coordinator of the Ebola response in Goma, told dpa.
"The little girl is in hospital, but the virus could be fatal as mortality rates are high in children," Abedi added.
Thursday marks a year since the start of the epidemic, the second-worst on record, which has led to more than 1,800 deaths in the central African nation.
After the first person to contract the disease in Goma died last month, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak an international health emergency. Until the Goma cases, no major cities had been affected by the epidemic.
Rwanda and other neighbouring countries - South Sudan, Uganda and Burundi - are now on high alert.
"Our government has closed the border with Democratic Republic of Cong because of the outbreak of Ebola," Olivier Nduhungirehe, Rwanda's minister in charge of the Eastern African Community, told dpa in Kigali on Thursday.
Efforts to curb Ebola have been hampered by fighting in the region, where various militia are operating, and health workers and facilities have been targeted.dpa