A second case of Ebola has been detected on Democratic Republic of Congo’s border with Rwanda, raising fears the deadly illness could spread.
The case was confirmed in the city of Goma, home to two million people, authorities said.
More than 1,600 people have died of Ebola in DR Congo since the outbreak began in August 2018.
The World Health Organization last week declared the crisis a global health emergency.
It is the highest level of alarm the WHO can sound and has only been used four times previously – including the Ebola epidemic that devastated parts of West Africa from 2014 to 2016, and killed more than 11,000 people.
What is the situation in Goma?
Ebola is affecting two provinces of Congo – North Kivu and Ituri. Goma is the capital of North Kivu and lies just across the border from the Rwandan city of Gisenyi.
A priest in Goma died from Ebola earlier this month. The WHO called it a “game-changer”, but until now there had not been any further confirmed cases.
On Tuesday, Dr Aruna Abedi – who is co-ordinating the response to the illness in North Kivu – told AFP news agency he had been informed of a second case.
“All measures have been put in place so that the case is taken care of in Goma,” an official statement said.
The area is densely populated and there are fears this could spread the illness into Rwanda.
Although the country as yet has not had any confirmed cases, it has set up an Ebola treatment centre and is preparing 23 isolation centres in case of any infections.
“Rwanda has made a significant investment in Ebola preparedness,” WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last week.
“But as long as the outbreak continues in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there is a very real risk of spread to neighbouring countries.”
How bad is the situation in DR Congo?
More than 2,500 people have been infected and two-thirds of them have died. It took 224 days for the number of cases to reach 1,000, but just a further 71 days to reach 2,000. About 12 new cases are being reported every day.
Do you have a story in your community or an opinion to share with us: Email us at email@example.com