2nd person dies from Ebola in Congo's city of Goma

Rwanda closes part of its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo “to avoid unnecessary crossings.” REUTERS

Fears that Ebola could spread into neighbouring countries have mounted since mid-July, when the disease claimed its first fatality in Goma, a city of two million people that lies adjacent to Gisenyi, a city of more than 85,000.

Congo's new Ebola response co-ordinator, Jean-Jacques Muyembe, said the man died on Wednesday morning, a day after his case was announced.

But he warned that about half of the cases in this outbreak are going undetected and at that rate "this epidemic could last two or three years".

Rwanda reopened its frontier with DR Congo on Thursday after closing it for eight hours following a new case of Ebola in the Congolese border city of Goma, Kinshasa said.

This week marks one year since the start of the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the DRC that has already killed more than 1,700 people, making it the second worst Ebola outbreak in history.

"The individual concerned spent time with his family ... So we did expect further cases and we are seeing further cases", said Margaret Harris, a spokeswoman for the World Health Organization (WHO).

A sister of that same miner who had traveled to Congo's South Kivu province was swiftly identified and brought back to Goma, Muyembe said.


Previously, on June 11, the Ugandan Ministry of Health confirmed 3 people had tested positive for Ebola in the Kasese district of western Uganda, reports DWB. REUTERS/Djaffer Sabiti FILE PHOTO: A Congolese health worker administers ebola vaccine to a child at the Himbi Health Centre in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, July 17, 2019.

Produced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), under a very-high magnification, this digitally-colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicts a single filamentous Ebola virus particle that had budded from the surface of a VERO cell of the African green monkey kidney epithelial cell line.

But public mistrust and rampant insecurity in parts of east Congo have hampered the response.

The Council's statement comes as the wider United Nations and global aid community are marking of one year since the Government of the DRC declared an outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in North Kivu province.

"The two patients' vital signs that are out of danger and we hope they will become the first people cured in Goma", Muyembe said.

Mozambique on Saturday set up disease checkpoints along its border with Malawi as a precaution, and officials said Rwanda on Thursday briefly shut its border with DRC.

"A total of 12 people from various centres on the outskirts (of Goma) are undergoing testing after the response team triggered the alert protocol", it said in a statement. "Because they don't want to be seen and they do want to continue their daily lives, and so we are even less likely to detect where this virus is moving", she added.

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