Rwanda shuts border with DR Congo over Ebola

A fact file on how the Ebola virus attacks

Ebola outbreak causes Rwanda to close border with Congo

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All of them are members of the same family and had recently returned from the provincial capital city of Goma, where a man died from Ebola on Wednesday. Investigators are now trying to track the man's movements to identify where he contracted the disease and who may have been exposed.

For months health officials had feared that an Ebola case would be confirmed there.

This outbreak has killed more than 1,800 people, almost a third of them children. On July 17, the World Health Organization declared the Ebola outbreak an global emergency after it spread to eastern Congo's biggest city, Goma.

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The Congolese presidency in a statement Thursday said Rwanda's stance was a "unilateral decision" that affected citizens from both countries who had to cross the border as part of their daily life. A Rwanda health ministry statement called the events a "traffic slowdown" as surveillance for Ebola was reinforced.

Now the ministry of health says that the border is open for travel as usual but warned against unnecessary travels.

It has also said the risk of regional spread was "very high". Any border closure is likely to push people to avoid formal immigration posts.

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.

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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.

In an urban setting, density of population, anonymity and high mobility make it far harder to isolate patients and trace contacts compared to the countryside. Ebola symptoms can start to occur between two and 21 days from infection, health experts say.

June 14: After a third emergency meeting, World Health Organization says the outbreak is not yet a global emergency. He had come from Ituri, another province where many cases have been confirmed. Containing the outbreak faces unprecedented challenges amid attacks by rebel groups and resistance by wary community residents in a region of Congo that had never experienced an Ebola outbreak before.

The virus spreads between humans through direct contact with an infected person's bodily fluids, including infected blood, feces or vomit, or direct contact with contaminated objects, such as needles and syringes.

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