https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/jul/31/ebola-second-case-confirmed-in-gomaA second death linked to the Ebola virus has been confirmed in the densely populated city of Goma, located at the Democratic Republic of Congo’s porous border with Rwanda.
The first case of Ebola in Goma – an evangelical preacher – contributed to the World Health Organization decision to declare the Ebola crisis in DRC an international public health emergency.
The city, which has a population of 2 million, shares a porous land border with Rwanda and has an international airport. It is often used by international travellers as a gateway to DRC.
The Ebola outbreak in DRC began exactly a year ago on Thursday and has claimed more than 1,803 lives, according to figures published on Wednesday, making it the second deadliest outbreak of the disease on record.
The second patient began showing symptoms of the disease on 22 July, after arriving in Goma from DRC’s northeastern Ituri province, according to Associated Press reports.
Aruna Abedi, in charge of coordinating the Ebola response in North Kivu, the worst-hit province, said the second patient had already been ill for 11 days before he sought treatment.
“His was really a hopeless case, because the illness was already at an advanced stage and he died overnight Tuesday,” Abedi said.
The case is not connected to the one previously detected in Goma.
https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/07/a-second-ebola-case-in-goma-the-first-prompted-an-international-emergency/Ebola response coordinator Jean-Jacques Muyembe told reporters at the same time that responders were working quickly to disinfect his home and the health center he had visited. “There is no need to panic,” he added.
Likewise, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a string of tweets early Wednesday that “rapid response teams have swung into action to prevent further transmission.”
“The risk of national Ebola spread is high,” Adhanom Ghebreyesus went on. “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.”
So far, the current outbreak in the DRC has reached the second largest ever recorded, tallying nearly 2,700 cases and over 1,800 deaths since it was declared August 1, 2018. The outbreak also marks only the fifth time in history that the WHO has declared a PHEIC.
The declaration has brought in new pledges of funding and support for outbreak responses, which have been severely hampered by violent attacks and community distrust and misunderstanding. Though responders have been using the highly effective strategy of ring-immunization—using an experimental vaccine that has shown to be 97.5% effective—health workers have struggled to build trust with community members, who often die without seeking medical care.
In a press statement earlier this month, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) noted, “This high number of community deaths (reported at around 40%) is a strong indicator that the outbreak is certainly not under control.”
Interesting how the authorities in Goma are using temperature as a screening tool when "around 50% of confirmed cases do not present fever symptoms...". (Bottom of Page 3, Situation Interpretation)
Only lack of access to international flights has prevented it from spreading off continent. That can change at any time.