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Ebola in DR Congo
Image: Reuters/O. Acland

Second Ebola case confirmed in DR Congo's Goma

July 31, 2019

Health officials fear an Ebola outbreak in eastern DR Congo could spread in Goma. Earlier in July, the city of two million people registered its first case of the deadly virus.


A second case of Ebola has been confirmed in Goma, a city of two million people in eastern DR Congo near the border with Rwanda, officials said Tuesday.

More than 1,700 people have died since an outbreak in eastern DR Congo was declared almost a year ago, prompting the World Health Organization in July to declare a global emergency.

Read more: Top 10 most dangerous viruses in the world

Authorities fear that the outbreak may spread from largely rural areas to Goma, a major transportation hub which registered its first Ebola infection in mid-July.

Jean-Jacques Muyembe, a local Ebola response coordinator, told reporters that there was no apparent connection between the new case and the previous one.

The infected man, from a mining area in northeastern Congo's Ituri province, arrived in Goma on July 13 and began to show symptoms on July 22. He is now quarantined in a treatment center.

In the first case in Goma earlier this month, a pastor tested positive and later died after arriving in Goma by bus from a rural area hardest hit by the outbreak.

Demokratische Republik Kongo l anhaltende Ebola-Epidemie
Authorities have set up screening and sanitation points leading into GomaImage: Getty Images/AFP/J. Wessels

Congolese officials say they have increased surveillance at points of entry and sanitary control in and around Goma. 

Containing the outbreak has been hampered by distrustful communities and a plethora of armed groups regularly threatening and attacking health workers and treatment centers.

The Ebola virus is highly contagious and has an average fatality rate of about  50%, although an experimental but effective Ebola vaccine has been rolled out.

The WHO has said there is a "very high" chance the outbreak could spread across region.

cw/aw (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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