Health officials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today announced the detection of a second Ebola case in Goma, involving a 46-year-old man who had traveled from a community near Bunia in Ituri province.
Reports from DRC journalists and international media outlets said the case was announced at a media briefing where the head of a presidential expert committee, Jean Jacques Muyembe Tamfum, PhD, shared details about the development. The country's president put the committee in charge of outbreak management on Jul 20, prompting the DRC's health minister to resign.
The infected man, a father of 10 children, is from Mongbwalu, about 43 miles from Bunia, the capital of Ituri province, according to a Tweet from DRC journalist Cedric Ebondo Mulumb.
Goma and Bunia are about 347 miles apart, with road travel taking about 13 hours.
No known link to earlier Goma case
According to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) story citing DRC health officials, the man initially arrived in Goma on Jul 13. Response teams detected the infection and isolated the man today, and he is receiving care at Goma's Ebola treatment center. The initial investigation hasn't found a link to the first case.
Goma reported its first case in the middle of July, in a pastor who traveled to the city after his symptoms began in Butembo, and outbreak response teams have been intensively following the man's contacts during the 21-day monitoring period.
The new travel-related case underscores the ongoing risk of spread from affected parts of the DRC to areas that haven't been hit hard by the outbreak. Goma is an especially worrisome area, because the capital of North Kivu province is home to about 2 million people and sits on the border with Rwanda.
New cases rise by 16
In other outbreak developments, the DRC reported 16 new cases yesterday, signaling a steady rise in cases and boosting the outbreak total to 2,687, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) online Ebola dashboard. Health officials are still investigating 321 suspected cases.
Also, the death toll in the outbreak climbed to 1,798, reflecting a rise of 16 more fatalities compared to the day before.
Jul 30 Cedric Ebondo Mulumb tweet
Jul 30 AFP story
WHO online Ebola dashboard