Monday, 19 August, 2019

A timeline of Congo’s latest deadly Ebola virus outbreak

Ebola outbreak causes Rwanda to close border with Congo BREAKING! Rwanda closes border with DR Congo
Anna Jefferson | 02 August, 2019, 02:37

Congo's presidency on Thursday said that Rwandan authorities had closed the border between Goma and its nearest town of Gisenyi for all people other than Congolese citizens leaving Rwanda.

KIGALI/GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - Rwanda's border with Ebola-hit Democratic Republic of Congo was fully open late on Thursday, a minister said, hours after Congolese traders had reported it shut following a third case of the disease in the Congolese border city of Goma.

Goma is a major transport hub that shares the border with the Rwandan city of Gisenyi, which has a population of more than 85,000.

July 30: Congo officials say a second Ebola case is confirmed in Goma, with no link seen to the earlier case.

"In Bukavu, there is no case of Ebola, the population must not panic but must comply with hygienic standards pending the control that takes place in the boats that come from Goma", said the authorities in a news release. "The girl had already been showing signs of the disease", an Ebola response official told AFP.

More than than 2,600 cases of Ebola have been reported in Congo since the current outbreak began a year ago, with a death rate of almost 70 percent.

"The Congolese authorities deplore this decision, which runs counter to the advice of the WHO (World Health Organisation) on fighting the virus", the DR Congolese presidency statement said.

It has also said the risk of regional spread was "very high".

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The UK Public Health Rapid Support Team (UK-PHRST) is deploying more public health specialists to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as the country's Ebola outbreak reaches the one-year mark.

July 14: Congo's health ministry confirms the first Ebola case in Goma, a city of more than 2 million people on the Rwandan border.

In the neighboring province of South Kivu, fifteen people were quarantined in a locality on Lake Kivu. It is not immediately clear whether the person is a family member of the man who died on Wednesday.

The painstaking work of finding, tracking and vaccinating people, who had contact with the man who died on Wednesday and the contacts of those contacts has begun. Though he said there is an "agreement" that there should be more than one licensed Ebola vaccine available for long-term use, US agencies have been "deferring to local health authorities for which vaccines are available for use".

An Ebola Treatment Centre has been set up in Rwanda and 23 isolation units are being prepared in hospitals in 15 priority districts, according to the Health Ministry.

Since the declaration of the epidemic on August 1, 2018, no case has been recorded in the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, which is two hours by plane from the main sources of infection.

- Almost 150 of the infections have been among health workers and more than one in four of them died.

This outbreak is second only to the 2014-16 Ebola outbreak in West Africa that left more than 11,300 people dead.

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