The first patient to be diagnosed with Ebola in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s largest city, Goma who was identifies as a pastor has died, according to an official.
Carly Nzanzu, governor of North Kivu province, told reporters on Tuesday that the patient was being driven from Goma to receive treatment at an Ebola clinic on Monday when he died.
“Unfortunately, I can confirm that the patient died,” Nzanzu said. “He died during transfer by road.”
DR Congo’s health ministry said the patient was a priest who became infected during a visit to the town of Butembo, one of the epicentres of the outbreak.
The pastor had preached at seven churches during his visit to Butembo, and had regularly touched worshippers, including the sick, the ministry said.
On his return on Sunday, he went to a clinic with a fever, was diagnosed with Ebola and sent back to Butembo, which is better geared than Goma for treating the disease, it said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday that health officials had identified 60 people who had come into contact with the pastor since he was taken ill and that half of them had been vaccinated.
The spread of the virus to Goma, a city of more than a million people on the border with Rwanda, has raised fears of the outbreak spreading more widely.
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