Published: Thu, August 01, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Second Ebola death in DR Congo's Goma

Second Ebola death in DR Congo's Goma

Health officials say they have discovered another case of Ebola in the eastern Congolese border town of Goma - a growing crisis that has the attention of United Nations emergency officials.

Jean-Jacques Muyembe, the new head of the country's Ebola response team, told reporters on Tuesday night that the latest patient is a man from a mining area in northeastern Ituri province.

The patient died Wednesday, around 26 hours after being admitted to an MSF-supported Ebola treatment center, the organization said on Twitter.

Ebola is affecting two provinces of Congo - North Kivu and Ituri.

He said the miner had recently travelled through the Ebola hotspots of Beni and Butembo.

This is the world's second-largest, second-deadliest outbreak of Ebola virus disease, which causes an often-fatal type of hemorrhagic fever.

A toxic mix of active armed groups and deep-rooted mistrust of health officials among local communities has hampered efforts to halt the virus with almost 2,500 cases registered so far, according to the DRC's health ministry.

The risk of national and regional spread is high, while the risk of it spreading beyond the region remains low.

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"We're still tackling misinformation and rumours, and health workers have been attacked". "The population in Goma, DRC is highly mobile, so this is an event we have anticipated".

More than 1,600 deaths from the Ebola virus have been reported since the outbreak was first declared on August 1, 2018 and, during the first seven months of the epidemic (August 2018 to March 2019), over 1,000 confirmed and probable cases were declared.

He said, unlike the first case, the latest patient will be able to receive appropriate treatment in Goma as a facility has been opened in the city, which is more than 350 kilometres south of where the outbreak was first detected.

In June the disease was found in three case-patients who traveled between Uganda and the DRC.

"Establishing when he became sick will help us know his potential exposure", Ryan said, assuring that a thorough investigation is under way. The virus was first identified in 1976 when outbreaks occurred near the Ebola River in the DRC. The World Health Organization has declared the Ebola outbreak an global emergency.

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.

"In the a year ago, there have been more than 2,600 confirmed cases, including more than 1,800 deaths in parts of Ituri and North Kivu provinces".

"The disease is relentless and devastating", said a joint statement from WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, and WFP Executive Director David Beasley. Nearly one in three "cases" is a child.

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