Officials in Congo on Tuesday stated a second Ebola case had been confirmed in Goma, the town of more than 2 million individuals those first confirmed case in this yearlong outbreak was reported earlier this month. There seemed to be no link between the man’s case and the previous one in Goma, Jean-Jacques Muyembe, a local Ebola response coordinator, advised reporters.
The affected person arrived on July 13 from a mining area in northeastern Congo’s Ituri province and began showing signs on July 22. He’s now isolated at an Ebola treatment center. Ebola signs can begin to happen between 2and 21 days from infection, health experts say.
Goma is on Congo’s heavily traveled border and has an international airport. For months health officials had worried that an Ebola case could be confirmed there. Days after the first Goma case was introduced, the WHO declared the Ebola outbreak a rare emergency.
This has become the second-deadliest Ebola explosion in history, with more than 1,700 individuals killed regardless of the widespread use of an experimental, however effective Ebola vaccine. Containing the outbreak faces unprecedented difficulties amid attacks by rebel teams and protection by wary community residents in an area of Congo that had never experienced an Ebola outbreak before.
Muyembe and some other officials on Tuesday sought to reassure both Goma residents and neighboring countries that measures had been being taken to strengthen surveillance for Ebola at border posts and elsewhere. Neighboring Rwanda, Uganda, and South Sudan started vaccinating health workers weeks or months ago. WHO says the chance of regional spread stays “very high.”