Congo-Kinshasa: Two Ebola Health Workers Killed

Grant Boone
July 18, 2019

The patient was a priest who became infected during a visit to the town of Butembo, 200 km (124 miles) north of Goma, where he interacted with Ebola patients, Congo's health ministry said in a statement. The border between the two countries extends into Lake Kivu, bottom left.

More than 1,600 people in eastern Congo have died as the virus has spread in areas too unsafe for health teams to access.

The pastor traveled from Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu province, to Butembo, a city in North Kivu province, on July 4 for an evangelical mission, passing through Goma on the way.

"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. It also said that the bus driver and passengers who were on the bus with the infected person will be vaccinated.

The city of Goma on the east of DR Congo could be a major escalation for the outbreak raging in the country, the medical experts confirmed, Euronews reported.

The head of the World Health Organization warns the spread of Ebola to a large city in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo could have dire consequences.

Multiple reports Monday said the pastor was taken back "swiftly" to Butembo for treatment in a clinic.

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Merkel also committed herself to gender parity and said that the proportion of women in the cabinet would "not be reduced" by the replacement.

Health experts have long feared that the disease responsible for killing almost 1,700 people since August would eventually make its way to Goma.

The current outbreak is the worst on record after the epidemic struck mainly Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone between 2014 and 2016, leaving more than 11,300 people dead.

His symptoms first surfaced last Tuesday.

The UN agency's chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said Monday he was "confident" that the World Health Organization (WHO) already had preparations in place to ward off an urban spread of the often fatal hemorrhagic epidemic. Mistrust has been high in a region that had never faced Ebola before and the attacks by rebel groups have undermined aid efforts.

While the technology for fighting it, including vaccines and special treatment units, is better than ever, trust between health workers and the community is low - and militia violence is preventing them from accessing remote areas. The virus has spread to the areas where it is too risky for the health teams to reach out.

"According to several sources, the attackers are people from the same neighborhood as the two victims who envied their neighbors because they had found a job in response to Ebola", the ministry said.

He said, however, "we need to see an end to the attacks and other disruptions to the response".

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