Monday, 19 August, 2019

Second death confirmed in DR Congo border city of Goma

File Health workers evacuating the remains of an Ebola Virus Disease victim File Health workers evacuating the remains of an Ebola Virus Disease victim
Anna Jefferson | 01 August, 2019, 08:41

The Democratic Republic of Congo's pointman on the crisis, Jean-Jacques Muyembe, said a second person had died of Ebola in Goma, a densely-populated city on the border with Rwanda that has transport links to many parts of East Africa.

The statement was issued by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, and World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley.

This is a miner from Mongwalu, located in Ituri province (northeast), who arrived healthy in Goma (in the neighboring province of North Kivu), confirmed health authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO).

"He was in the community symptomatic for a good period of time, for much longer than we want to see people out there", Harris said.

The decision came a few days after the first case of Ebola was detected in Goma.

"Yesterday he was in a critical state", Muyembe told The Associated Press.

"Sad news coming from Goma, DRC - the second Ebola case has been confirmed".

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

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One year on since the Ebola outbreak was first declared in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo the disease continues to spread with 2,690 cases and 1,803 deaths, a 67% case fatality rate.

In June, three people died in Uganda before other family members were taken back to Congo for treatment and Ugandan officials declared the country was again free of the disease. Moeti said one challenge has been ongoing violence: In 1 year, armed rebels and other have launched 198 attacks on healthcare workers and facilities.

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

There is no licensed treatment for Ebola and survival can depend on seeking treatment as quickly as possible. There have been 1,811 deaths so far, most of which were from confirmed Ebola cases, according to the latest data from the WHO and the country's health ministry.

The joint United Nations statement called Ebola relentless and devastating as it is passed "from mother to child, husband to wife, patient to caregiver, from the dead body of a victim to the mourning relative".

A health worker wears protective gear and mixes water and chlorine in Goma on July 31, 2019. "The disease turns the most mundane aspects of everyday life upside down".

Seven health workers have been murdered and more than 50 have been seriously hurt, according to an unofficial tally.

The epidemic in DR Congo is the second deadliest on record after more than 11,000 people were killed in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia between 2014-2016.

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