The Democratic Republic of Congo has recorded a second Ebola death in days following more than seven weeks without a new case, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Sunday.
Congo had been due, on Sunday, to mark an end to the second-deadliest outbreak of the virus on record, until a case was confirmed on Friday in the eastern city of Beni.
The outbreak has killed more than 2,200 people since August 2018 in an area of the country where militia violence hobbled efforts to contain it.
Boubacar Diallo, Deputy Incident Manager for the WHO’s Ebola response said the latest victim was an 11-month-old baby, who was treated at the same health centre as the previous case, a 26-year-old electrician.
Officials say it is not yet clear how the electrician contracted Ebola given that he had no known contacts with other Ebola patients and was not a survivor of the virus which could have relapsed.
”The WHO has identified 215 people who came into contact with the electrician, including 53 health workers at three facilities the man visited before he died.
”All but one of the health workers had already been vaccinated.
”Two new vaccines have helped contain the virus, though public mistrust and militia attacks prevented health workers from reaching some hard-hit areas.
”On Saturday, a group of angry young men threw stones at a team of WHO workers and Beni’s Deputy Mayor as they attempted to decontaminate the electrician’s home and trace his contacts.
“For them Ebola is over, “People here have some problems understanding how this case just came two days before the declaration of the end.”
NAN reports that the Head of Police in Beni, Kambale Sabuni, added that the deputy mayor was forced to abandon his car and escape by motorbike taxi due to the attack.