The Congolese Health Ministry said in a press release on Sunday that the first case of Ebola has been detected in the city of Goma more than 350 km (220 miles) away from where a pandemic originated a year ago.
The infected man is a priest who was exposed to frequent tactile contact with infected people during sermons. He displayed symptoms a day before taking a bus from Butembo to Goma, according to the ministry.
“Upon his arrival in Goma this morning, he went to the health centre to continue treatment. The health centre staff and doctors recognised the symptoms of Ebola and immediately alerted the emergency team which then transferred him to the Ebola Treatment Centre. Fifteen hours later, he tested positive for Ebola”, the press release said.
The ministry added that the early detection and timely quarantine, as well as the mandatory treatment of the priest’s fellow passengers, have reduced the risk of Ebola further spreading in Goma.
The Ebola virus is transmitted from human to human through contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person. The WHO estimates it to have a 50 percent fatality rate.
Ebola is named after the DRC’s Ebola River, near which the virus was discovered by Belgian microbiologist Peter Piot and his team in 1976. The current outbreak in the DRC began in July 2018.