FILE PHOTO: A man washes his hands after entering the General Hospital in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, July 1
GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Reuters)) – A second case of Ebola was discovered Tuesday in the eastern Congolese city of Goma, a local health official said, increasingly fearing that the virus was in the densely populated Area near the Rwandan border.
Goma's first Ebola case was discovered in mid-July, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to warn that the spread of the disease could accelerate. The epidemic has killed more than 1,700 people since its declaration almost a year ago, making it the second worst outbreak since it was established.
The last person with the disease began developing symptoms on July 22 after coming from a mining area outside the city. The health official quoted the head of the Ebola response team in Congo, Jean-Jacques Muyembe, in an official statement.
Health officials believe that the patient, a man, is not associated with the first case in Goma.
"Reaction teams continue to work to decontaminate the case, and the case's high-risk contacts have been identified and will be vaccinated as of tomorrow," Muyembe said.
He said that unlike the first case, the last patient in Goma could receive appropriate treatment as a facility was opened in the city, located more than 350 kilometers south of the place where the outbreak first occurred.
Goma prepares for one year for Ebola to arrive in town, sets up hand washing stations and ensures that motor taxi drivers do not share helmets.
Reporting by Fiston Mahamba; Letter from Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Alison Williams and Frances Kerry