Kinshasa, Congo — A Congolese official says the man who became the second confirmed Ebola case in the city of Goma has died. Ebola response coordinator Jean-Jacques Muyembe confirmed the death on Wednesday morning, a day after the case was announced.
Muyembe has said there appeared to be no link between the case and the previous one in Goma that was announced two and a half weeks ago.
It is not immediately clear how the man arrived in Goma on July 13 from a mining area in northeastern Ituri province, nor what he did after he started showing symptoms on July 22. He was isolated at an Ebola treatment center on Tuesday.
The virus has killed more than 1,700 people in the current outbreak, despite the widespread use of an experimental but effective Ebola vaccine. As CBS News correspondentk, the fight against it has been damningly complicated by a raging conflict in the region between rebel groups and the government, and resistance from wary residents who don’t trust the vaccine or public health workers.
The declaration of a global health emergency — the fifth in history — brought a surge of millions of dollars in new pledges by international donors but some health workers say a new approach is needed to combat misunderstandings in the community. Far too many people in this outbreak are still dying at home, they say.
There is no licensed treatment for Ebola and survival can depend on seeking treatment as quickly as possible. And yet many people in the region don’t believe that Ebola is real, health workers have said.
The first confirmed Ebola case in Goma was a 46-year-old preacher who managed to pass through three health checkpoints on the way from Butembo. The city is one of the communities hardest hit by this outbreak, which is second only to the 2014-16 Ebola epidemic in West Africa that left more than 11,300 people dead.