Congolese authorities were racing to contain an Ebola epidemic on Thursday, after a gold miner with a large family contaminated several people in the east’s main city of Goma before dying of the hemorrhagic fever, officials said.
The government’s Ebola response coordinator Jean-Jacques Muyembe said an estimated half of cases of Ebola – which has killed at least 1,800 since the outbreak started a year ago – were going unidentified.
“If we continue on that basis, this epidemic could last two or three years,” he told a news conference in Goma.
This is the second worst Ebola outbreak on record, after a 2013-16 West African epidemic infected 28,000 people and killed 11,300, mostly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
On Friday the government said the wife of the miner had tested positive for the disease – the fourth case confirmed in Goma, more than 350 km (220 miles) south of where the outbreak was first detected, raising fears of an acceleration in infections close to the border with Rwanda