A timeline of Congo’s latest deadly Ebola virus outbreak
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The deadly Ebola outbreak in Congo now enters its second year. Containing it just became more challenging with the first direct transmission of the virus in the city of Goma, which has more than 2 million residents and sits on a busy border with Rwanda. More than 1,800 people have been killed since this outbreak was declared on Aug. 1, 2018. Here’s a timeline of key events in what has been declared a rare global health emergency.
Aug. 1: The outbreak is declared in northeastern Congo’s North Kivu province, a turbulent region where dozens of rebel groups are active.
Aug. 8: The first of scores of thousands of vaccinations begin with an experimental but effective vaccine.
Sept. 5: Congo says the outbreak spreads to Butembo, a city of more than 1 million people.
Oct. 2: Red Cross workers are attacked by community members in an early sign of resistance to Ebola response efforts in a region where the virus had never been recorded before.
Oct. 17: After an emergency expert meeting, the World Health Organization says it is “deeply concerned” but the outbreak is not a global emergency.
Nov. 29: WHO says this is now the second largest Ebola outbreak in history with 426 cases.
Dec. 26: Congo bars people in key Ebola-affected areas from voting in the presidential election, sparking anger and feeding rumors that the outbreak is a political ploy.
Feb. 24: Assailants attack an Ebola treatment center in Katwa, killing one caretaker and leading aid group Doctors Without Borders within days to suspend operations there and in Butembo.
April 12: After a second emergency meeting, WHO says the outbreak is not yet a global emergency.
April 19: Attackers storm a hospital in Butembo and kill a WHO epidemiologist.
May 3: Congo’s health ministry says more than 1,000 people have died in the outbreak.
June 4: The outbreak surpasses 2,000 confirmed Ebola cases.
June 11: Uganda announces its first confirmed Ebola case in this outbreak.
June 14: After a third emergency meeting, WHO says the outbreak is not yet a global emergency.
July 14: Congo’s health ministry confirms the first Ebola case in Goma, a city of more than 2 million people on the Rwandan border.
July 17: After a fourth expert meeting, WHO declares an international emergency. More than 1,600 people have died since the outbreak began.
July 30: Congo officials say a second Ebola case is confirmed in Goma, with no link seen to the earlier case.
Aug. 1: Congo officials say the victim’s wife and 1-year-old daughter test positive for Ebola, the first transmission of the virus in Goma.