Second Ebola case detected in eastern Congo`s main city


Health officials fear an Ebola outbreak in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) could spread in Goma.

Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) confirmed a second case of the ebola virus in the border city of Goma on Tuesday.

"We are doing our best to make sure that patients from Ebola high-risk areas don't travel to other areas", Jean-Jacques Muyembe, director of the Congolese National Institute for Biomedical Research, said in a statement.

More than 1 700 people have died since an outbreak in the eastern Congo was declared nearly a year ago, prompting the World Health Organization in July to declare a global emergency.

According to a local health official, the latest person with the disease started developing symptoms on July 22, after arriving from a mining area outside the city.

The vaccine, developed by pharma giant Merck, is experimental but is estimated to be 97.5 percent effective and, according to World Health Organization, may protect a person for up to 12 months. Containing the outbreak faces unprecedented challenges amid attacks by rebel groups and resistance by wary community residents in a region of Congo that had never experienced an Ebola outbreak before. Neighboring Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan began vaccinating health workers weeks or months ago.

The declaration of a global health emergency - the fifth in history - brought a surge of millions of dollars in new pledges by worldwide donors but some health workers say a new approach is needed to combat misunderstandings in the community.

There is no licensed treatment for Ebola and survival can depend on seeking treatment as quickly as possible.

Health officials believe the patient, a man, is not connected to the first case in Goma.

Just over 1,700 people have died since the outbreak began in August past year - with a further 94 deaths thought to be related to the disease.



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