Medicine

First Ebola patient in eastern DRC's largest city dies

First Ebola patient in eastern DRC's largest city dies

Three Ebola cases that originated in Congo were confirmed in neighbouring Uganda a month ago, but no new cases have since been registered there.

With each passing day, the virus keeps spreading. The WHO chief spoke Monday at a high-level meeting that examined current efforts to contain the growing Ebola epidemic in Congo.

Goma had been preparing for the arrival of Ebola for a year, setting up hand-washing stations and making sure moto-taxi drivers do not share helmets.

The first case of Ebola in the city of Goma has been confirmed, Democratic Republic of Congo officials said Sunday. The DRC's Minister of Health, Dr Olly Ilunga, said the meeting in Geneva yesterday had been of key importance. "From here you can fly to everywhere in the world".

During the event, Tedros spoke on the current status of Ebola in the DRC and what needs to be done in order to stop the outbreak, which has been ongoing for almost 1 year. The city is an important transit point for the region and beyond and a bustling trade hub drawing travelers from throughout Congo's east.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, said: "The identification of the case in Goma could potentially be a game-changer in this epidemic".

But, he was reconvening the United Nations agency's expert committee to assess whether to declare an global emergency - a step it has avoided three times in the past.

The UN's World Health Organization will convene its emergency response board on Wednesday to assess whether the outbreak should be declared a "public health emergency of worldwide concern", a move that would step up the global response.

Insisting that he was confident sufficient preventative measures had been put in place, Mr. Tedros announced that he had chose to reconvene an Emergency Committee "as soon as possible to assess the threat of this development and advise me accordingly".

More news: R. Kelly finances revealed ahead of bond hearing

Virtually all of them need help to counter the debilitating effects of the stigma and discrimination that taints children affected by Ebola, so that they are accepted, valued and loved by their families and communities. His symptoms first surfaced last Tuesday, it said.

He went through several health checkpoints on the road "but did not seem to show signs of the disease".

The ministry said all others on the bus had been tracked down.

At a meeting convened in Geneva by World Health Organization on Monday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the spread of Ebola to Goma, a city of 2 million people was a potential "game-changer".

But there was low risk of the disease spreading, the health ministry said.

The highly-contagious virus is transmitted through bodily fluids, putting anyone who came into contact with the priest at risk of infection.

"I want to say a huge thank you to the enormous number of actors who are on the ground, from the Congolese teams on the front line, to the Ministry of Health in the DRC to the WHO to NGOs".

"We would be hugely grateful if our dear friends from the other G7 countries really stepped up", he added. "Nevertheless, we can not be too careful", he said.