KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — The one-year-old daughter of the man who died of Ebola in Congo’s major city of Goma this week has the disease, the Health Ministry said yesterday, while Rwanda closed its border with Congo over the virus outbreak that now enters its second year. The man died on Wednesday after spending several days at home with his large family while showing symptoms. This is the first transmission of Ebola inside Goma, a city of more than two million people on the Rwandan border, a scenario that health experts have long feared. The painstaking work of finding, tracking and vaccinating people who had contact with the man — and the contacts of those contacts — has begun.
This outbreak has killed more than 1,800 people, nearly a third of them children. It is now the second-deadliest Ebola outbreak in history, and last month the World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a rare global emergency.
Rwanda’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Olivier Nduhungirehe confirmed the border closure, a day after WHO officials praised African nations for keeping their borders open. Last week Saudi Arabia stopped issuing visas to people from Congo while citing the Ebola outbreak, shortly before the annual Haj pilgrimage there this month.
Congo’s presidency swiftly condemned Rwanda’s decision
WHO has recommended against travel restrictions amid the outbreak but said the risk of regional spread is “very high”.