Ebola case confirmed in eastern DR Congo city of Goma: Ministry

A health worker measures the temperature of a man entering the ALIMA Ebola treatment centre in Beni in the Democratic Republic of Congo

A health worker measures the temperature of a man entering the ALIMA Ebola treatment centre in Beni in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The first case of Ebola has been confirmed in Goma, the biggest city to have been affected by the disease since its outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo last August, the health ministry said on Sunday.

In another tweet, Ghebreyesus said that 3,000 health workers in Goma had been vaccinated, and that the sick pastor is being treated in the Ebola Treatment Center in Goma, run by the DRC Ministry of Health and Doctors without Borders.

His symptoms first appeared last Tuesday in Butembo, one of the main towns touched by Ebola where he had been preaching.

"Due to a lack of sufficient scientific evidence on the efficacy and safety of other vaccines, and the risk of confusing the population, it was decided that no clinical trial of vaccines will be authorised during the current Ebola outbreak", the health ministry said in a daily bulletin.

A total of 2,489 cases have been reported in the central African nation, killing a total of 1,665 people, according to the Ministry of Health. All the passengers of the bus are set to be given an experimental vaccination that has proven largely successful.

The case, which was confirmed Sunday by the country's Ministry of Health, has raised fears that the virus could make its way across the porous border into still-uninfected Rwanda - something health experts have been working desperately to prevent.

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A worker from the World Health Organization (WHO) decontaminates the doorway of a house on a plot where two cases of Ebola were found, in the village of Mabalako, in eastern Congo Monday, June 17, 2019.

Health officials will move the patient back to Butembo for treatment. Health teams have been unable to access violent areas to vaccinate people at risk of infection and to bring infected patients into isolation.

Last month, the World Health Organization said the outbreak did not qualify as an worldwide threat, even after an infected family travelled to neighbouring Uganda.

Efforts to tackle the crisis have been hampered by militia attacks on treatment centres, in which some staff have been killed, and hostility to medical teams from outside - fuelled by local politicians actively trying to turn people against them.

Insecurity in the restive region, including a long-standing presence of various rebel groups in Ituri and North Kivu, has also made it hard for health workers to access those who might have come into contact with Ebola.

The disease spreads when humans touch the blood, body fluids, secretions or organs of an infected person, or objects contaminated by such fluids. An epidemic between 2013 and 2016 killed more than 11,300 people in West Africa.

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