Kuala Lumpur, August 1 — A second person has reportedly died in Goma after being infected with Ebola.
The city of almost 2 million people is located on the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, and is considered a major transit hub, raising worries that the deadly disease could spread.
The patient, who was an artisanal miner, came from a northeast province and was admitted to a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) supported Ebola treatment centre on the outskirts of Goma.
He was found to have bleeding and bruising, and tested positive for Ebola. The patient died 26 hours after being admitted.
The city has a highly mobile population where people travel between Goma and the Rwandan city of Gisenyi everyday. This increases the risk of the disease spreading far beyond the current outbreak.
It is much harder to trace contacts, isolate patients and ensure effective quarantine in an urban setting where people often live in close proximity.
The risk of national #Ebola spread is high. The population in Goma, #DRC is highly mobile, so this is an event we have anticipated. This is why we have been doing intensive preparedness work in Goma so that any new case is identified and responded to immediately. pic.twitter.com/9MKsL0DJzR— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) July 31, 2019
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organisation’s director general, said on social media, “This is an event we have anticipated. This is why we have been doing intensive preparedness work in Goma so that any new case is identified and responded to immediately.”
The United Nations agencies involved in the response released a joint statement yesterday, saying there have been more than 2,600 confirmed cases and more than 1,800 deaths. Almost one in three confirmed cases are children.
There is a vaccine for Ebola which is 99 percent effective. So far more than 161,000 have already received it.
The current outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is considered to be the second-deadliest in history.