In Summary
  • The new cases revived concern that the virus could cross the porous borders of the central African country, where it has claimed more than 1,900 lives since August last year.
  • The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said it was "rapidly deploying an expert team" to the area.
  • The city's proximity to Rwanda and many transport links sparked fears the disease could spread across borders.

Bukavu, DR Congo,

The eastern DR Congo province of South Kivu said Friday it had recorded its first confirmed cases of Ebola in the country's year-old epidemic, one of which was a fatality.

The new cases revived concern that the virus could cross the porous borders of the central African country, where it has claimed more than 1,900 lives since August last year.

"Two cases which tested positive for Ebola were confirmed overnight in South Kivu, in Lwindi district in the Mwenga region," the provincial government said in a statement.

VICTIM DIED

"A 26-year-old victim died and (one of their) children who tested positive is still alive and being treated."

South Kivu Governor Theo Ngwabidje told reporters: "Teams from the national anti-Ebola coordination campaign arrived yesterday to provide support."

World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted the outbreak in South Kivu "has sparked a rapid response... to provide treatment, identify all contacts, raise community awareness & begin vaccinating".

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said it was "rapidly deploying an expert team" to the area.

The haemorrhagic virus erupted in the Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province on August 1, 2018 and spread to neighbouring Ituri province.

The UN's World Health Organization (WHO) declared the epidemic a "public health emergency of international concern" last month after cases were confirmed in the densely-populated North Kivu capital city Goma.

CONCERNED
The city's proximity to Rwanda and many transport links sparked fears the disease could spread across borders.

"Beni, Butembo and Goma are still containable," said a Congolese professor and epidemiologist, referring to North Kivu cities.

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