Government dismisses claims that Ebola has spread to Rwanda

On 20 July 2019 at 09:13

The Minister of Health (MINISANTE), Dr. Diane Gashumba has requested Rwandans to disregard rumors that the Ebola Virus which has killed many in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has spread to Rwanda.

Gashumba made the statement yesterday at Maison de Jeunes in Kimisagara sector as she attended 15 year anniversary since President Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was introduced in Rwanda.

The ceremony was also attended by the United States Ambassador, Peter Vrooman among other dignitaries.

The Minister said before attending the event, she was following up on the origin of circulated rumors that Ebola has spread to Rwanda.

“I came late because I have been dealing with rumors some of you might have heard from foreign media of which intentions are unknown. I wanted to bring it to you as stakeholders in the prevention of Ebola outbreak in our country,” she said.

“Some of you might have had time to read it. There is a woman from Congo who crossed into Uganda to sell fish and died after returning to Congo. We have seen a communiqué from a news medium from abroad mentioning that the woman crossed through Congo and Uganda but conclude with an ambiguous statement that she probably crossed into Rwanda,” added Gashumba.

The report explained that the woman might have crossed into Rwanda to attend a market in Gisenyi but didn’t give a precise location.

Gashumba requested people to disregard such news that Ebola has spread to Rwanda. “I would like to request you to strengthen prevention measures against Ebola, maintain hygiene, wash hands in villages and report any suspected case on time,” she said.

Rumors started circulating after of Ebola Virus Disease was confirmed on Sunday 14th July 2019 in Goma, North-Kivu Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo bordering with Rwanda.

At least 1,676 people have died from the virus since the current outbreak started in DR Congo in August 2018 translating to more than two-thirds of those who had contracted the virus.

Gashumba reminded residents not to travel to Ebola prone areas, seek medical treatment in case they have suspected Ebola symptoms.

Ebola virus disease (EVD), also known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) or simply

Ebola is a viral hemorrhagic fever of humans and other primates caused by Ebola viruses.

Signs and symptoms typically start between two days and three weeks after contracting the virus with a fever, sore throat, muscular pain, and headaches.

Vomiting, diarrhea, and rash usually follow, along with the decreased function of the liver and kidneys.

At this time, some people begin to bleed both internally and externally. The disease has a high risk of death, killing between 25 and 90 percent of those infected, with an average of about 50 percent. This is often due to low blood pressure from fluid loss and typically follows six to sixteen days after symptoms appear.

The virus spreads through direct contact with body fluids, such as blood from infected humans or other animals. Spread may also occur from contact with items recently contaminated with bodily fluids.

Rwanda has not yet recorded any Ebola cases.

Rwanda has in recent past stepped up efforts to prevent Ebola from spreading to the country, including scaling up screenings at all points of entry, surveillance, vaccinating frontline workers including health and immigration officers, public sensitization, among other measures.

Gashumba requested people to disregard such news that Ebola has spread to Rwanda.