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Homeland Security

Second Ebola Death in DRC City of Goma

By VOA News July 31, 2019

Officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo say the person who was confirmed as the second case of Ebola in the city of Goma has died.

The announcement was made Wednesday, a day after the latest case was first revealed.

The case involved a man who traveled to Goma from a northeastern rural community in Ituri province. He was diagnosed a few days after arrival and was being treated at the Goma Ebola Treatment Center.

Goma is home to more than a million people and lies directly on Congo's border with Rwanda, where tens of thousands cross on foot daily.

Earlier this month, a pastor tested positive and later died after arriving in Goma by bus, sparking fears the disease could spread quickly through the densely populated city.

After that incident, the World Health Organization declared the Ebola epidemic in DR Congo's conflict-ridden North Kivu and Ituri provinces a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

More than 2,500 cases of Ebola have been reported since the outbreak began in August 2018. Of them nearly 1,670 people have died.

The United Nations' Children's Fund, or UNICEF, reports an unprecedented number of children have been infected in this outbreak. Children account for more than 700 of the 2,671 reported cases of Ebola. UNICEF health specialist Jerome Pfaffman said more than half of the youngsters infected are below the age of five.

This is the 10th outbreak of the disease over the last four decades in the DRC. It is the second largest outbreak after the 2014 historic epidemic in West Africa that killed more than 11,300 people.

Lisa Schlein contributed to this report from Geneva.

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