By James Tasamba
KIGALI, Rwanda (AA) - The outbreak of Ebola in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s Goma town has raised fears the deadly disease could spread to Rwanda.
Goma shares border with Rwanda, with an estimated 100,000 people crossing the border from either country daily for various businesses, according to migration officials.
The Goma case is frightening given the town’s proximity with Rwanda, and the disease could easily spread beyond the border if not contained, a health official in Rwanda’s border district of Rubavu told Anadolu Agency on Monday.
Congo’s health ministry announced that the first Ebola case in Goma, North-Kivu Province had been confirmed on Sunday involving a pastor who interacted with Ebola patients in the northeastern town of Butembo.
The pastor had traveled to Goma by bus on Sunday.
The man was later transported back to Butembo treatment center, and other passengers of the bus were isolated for vaccination, the ministry said.
In a statement on Monday, Rwandan Health Minister Diane Gashumba urged Rwanda residents to contribute in strengthening measures to prevent the spread of Ebola Virus to Rwanda.
Noting that no Ebola case has been reported in Rwanda, the minister called on the public to remain vigilant, avoid unnecessary visits to Goma and to seek timely medical attention at the nearest health facility in case one experiences Ebola-like symptoms such as high fever, bleeding, diarrhea and red eyes.
Rwanda has been on high alert for a possible spread of Ebola since the deadly disease broke out last August, screening travelers entering the country, among other measures.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 2,000 cases have been recorded since last year.
Ebola spreads through contact with blood, body fluids, secretions or organs of an infected person.