Congo confirms first Ebola case in the eastern city of Goma

Congo confirms first Ebola case in the eastern city of Goma

A case of Ebola was confirmed in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, on Sunday, for the first time since the outbreak began almost a year ago. The Congolese health ministry is confirming the country's first Ebola case in the provincial capital of 2 million, Goma, some 360 kms ( 225 miles) south of Beni.

Meanwhile, two Ebola response agents were separately killed in their homes on Saturday in the Mukulia health area, which borders Butembo, the ministry said.

"Because of the speed with which the patient was identified and isolated, and the identification of all the other bus passengers coming from Butembo, the risk of it spreading in the rest of the city of Goma is small", the health ministry said.

The other 18 passengers and the driver will begin getting vaccinations on Monday, it added.


Two fatal cases were reported in Uganda last month, marking the first confirmed cross-border cases of the virus in the current epidemic and prompting the WHO's emergency committee to weigh for a third time whether to declare the outbreak an worldwide health emergency.

The disease spreads when humans touch the blood, body fluids, secretions or organs of an infected person, or objects contaminated by such fluids. The center, he said, has been open since February and 3,000 health workers in the city had been vaccinated in case of such a situation. The border between the two countries extends into Lake Kivu, bottom left. He has now been sent back to Butembo for further care.

The UN agency's chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said Monday he was "confident" that the World Health Organization (WHO) already had preparations in place to ward off an urban spread of the often fatal hemorrhagic epidemic.

Tedros confirmed he planned to reconvene WHO's emergency advisory board to assess whether the outbreak should be declared a "public health emergency of worldwide concern", a move that steps up the global response.


Insecurity in the restive region, including a long-standing presence of various rebel groups in the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu, has made it hard for health workers to access people who may have been exposed to the virus.

Local hostility to health workers trying to trace and isolate people in contact with Ebola patients is another hurdle. "Although this is a very concerning development, it's one that we and the government have expected and prepared for", he said.

The largest outbreak of this deadly disease was reported in West Africa during the period 2014-16. In total there have been 130 attacks on health facilities between January and mid-May, causing four deaths and injuring 38.


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