Medicine

Ebola spread in eastern Congo massively raises risk, United Nations warns

Ebola spread in eastern Congo massively raises risk, United Nations warns

Goma shares border with Rwanda, with an estimated 100,000 people crossing the border from either country daily for various businesses, according to migration officials.

On Monday the health ministry said two Ebola awareness workers had been killed in the affected zone.

The DRC health ministry said a man who had arrived in the regional centre on Sunday had been quickly transported to an Ebola treatment centre.

World Health Organization emergencies chief Mike Ryan said response teams in DRC had identified 60 contacts, including 18 who arrived in the bus with the priest in Goma on Sunday.

World Health Organization emergencies chief Mike Ryan said they had identified 60 contacts, including 18 who were on the bus with the priest, and half of them have been vaccinated.

Ebola is transmitted through contact with contaminated fluids of living or dead people and animals, with a lethality of up to 90 percent.

"Though the spread of the disease to Goma is a sign that the response still has work to do in gaining the trust of the local population, we welcome the progress that has been made over recent weeks to reset and reevaluate the response strategy", said Riebl.

Some Congolese people have also contributed to the spread of the disease by refusing to take their loved ones to treatment centers and not adhering to burial guidelines created to reduce Ebola transmission.

Health officials have feared since the beginning of the outbreak last August that cases could emerge in Goma.

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"The risk of spreading the disease in the rest of the city Goma is low as the patient was isolated and transferred to the Goma treatment center upon Ebola arrival", the ministry said on Twitter.

He said: "Although the risk of spread within DRC and in the region remains very high, we should not underestimate the magnitude of what has been achieved so far".

Report via a toll-free (114) nationwide phone alert system, to community health workers, nearby health facility and or police station any suspected case with Ebola-like symptoms. At least 30 of the 60 people that have been in contact with the patient, an evangelical pastor, have been vaccinated.

Still, Tedros said the United Nations agency is "confident" in the response measures put in place and predicted there would be no further Ebola cases in Goma.

Goma, a lakeside city of 1 million people, is more than 350 km (220 miles) south of where the second-largest Ebola outbreak on record was first detected a year ago.

In a statement on Monday, Rwandan Health Minister Diane Gashumba urged Rwanda residents to contribute in strengthening measures to prevent the spread of Ebola Virus to Rwanda.

Efforts to roll back Ebola have been hampered by Insecurity in a region plagued by militia groups, who have attacked treatment centres.

"Every attack gives Ebola an opportunity to spread".