Ebola: Two health workers killed in DR Congo

The Red Cross says the biggest challenge is ensuring robust monitoring along the porous border with DRC

A case of Ebola was confirmed in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, on Sunday, for the first time since the outbreak began almost a year ago.

A pastor who interacted with Ebola patients in DRC's northeastern town of Butembo became ill recently, and traveled to Goma by bus on July 14, where he later tested positive for Ebola.

He developed symptoms last week before taking a bus to Goma on Friday.

The man was later transported back to Butembo treatment center, and other passengers of the bus were isolated for vaccination, the ministry said.

The notice said that the ministry of health in coordination with the Rwanda Biomedical Centre, WHO and other partners continues the work to strengthen national capacity for early detection and containment in the event a case spreads in Rwanda.

According to the latest health ministry figures issued on Saturday, 1,655 people have died from the hemorrhagic virus since August 1 previous year, when the disease broke out in North Kivu and spread to neighboring Ituri.

Goma, a lakeside city of 1 million people, is more than 350 kilometres (220 miles) south of where the outbreak was first detected a year ago.

Health teams have been unable to access violent areas to vaccinate people at risk of infection and to bring infected patients into isolation, and have faced attacks from angry residents.

Treatment centers have often been attacked by the myriad militia groups that operate in the region, and many locals were either too scared or too suspicious to seek medical assistance there. He had previously been in Butembo, where he had been in contact with people with Ebola.

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The Goma patient was described as a pastor who had been on a trip to another town, Butembo, one of the towns hardest hit by the outbreak.

On Monday the UN's Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said a "big scale up" in donations is needed in order to tackle the Ebola outbreak.

"While not welcome news, it is something we have long anticipated", World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a Twitter thread.

It was to be attended by representatives of DR Congo, the United Kingdom, the World Bank and other UN agencies.

The disease spreads when humans touch the blood, body fluids, secretions or organs of an infected person, or objects contaminated by such fluids. The border between the two countries extends into Lake Kivu, bottom left.

There have been 1,665 deaths so far, including 1,571 people who died from confirmed cases of Ebola.

It is already the second deadliest on record globally, after the epidemic that struck West Africa in 2014-2016 and killed more than 11 300 people.

The latest epidemic is the 10th documented outbreak in DR Congo since the disease was identified in 1976 near the Ebola River, which gives it its name.

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