Health: Fears of spread rife as Ebola claims second victim

Thursday, August 1st, 2019 00:00 |
Fears of spread rife as Ebola claims second victim. Photo/File

Goma, Wednesday

A second person has died of Ebola in the eastern DR Congo city of Goma, the country’s pointman for the epidemic said today, heightening fears the disease could spread through the densely populated transport hub.

The latest death from the dreaded haemorrhagic virus was announced almost a year since the first cases of the outbreak were recorded on August 1 last year.

Since then the virus death toll has risen to 1,803, according to figures published on Wednesday.

“A patient who was confirmed with Ebola in Goma has died. Every measure has been taken to block the chain of transmission,” said Jean-Jacques Muyembe, in charge of coordinating the fight against the outbreak.

Goma, a lakeside city of more than two million people close to the Rwanda border, had already brought in infection prevention and control measures in anticipation of the arrival of the virus.

Connected city

The city has an airport with flights to the capital Kinshasa, Uganda’s Entebbe and Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, as well as a port that links to Bukavu and South Kivu province.

Aruna Abedi, in charge of coordinating the Ebola response in North Kivu, the worst-hit province, said the second patient to die from Ebola in Goma had arrived at a treatment centre “11 days after falling ill”.

“His was really a hopeless case, because the illness was already at an advanced stage and he died overnight Tuesday.” 

Fears are high that the highly contagious virus will cross the Democratic Republic of Congo’s porous borders. -AFP

More on World