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U.S. deploys disaster response team to help fight Ebola in the Congo

Health workers carry out the body of a patient with unconfirmed Ebola virus on August 22, 2018 in Mangina, near Beni, in the North Kivu province.
Health workers in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Photo: John Wessels/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Agency for International Development announced Monday that it has sent a disaster assistance response team (DART) to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to help contain the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.

Why it matters: While USAID and the Health and Human Services Department initially sent staff to the area during the Ebola outbreak in early August, this is the first deployment of an elite DART team, which indicates increased concern from U.S. officials.

ICYMI: The World Health Organization recently warned that renewed violence in eastern DRC has halted progress there and has increased the national and regional risk level to "very high" while the global risk remained "low." However, the DRC Ministry of Health says community outreach efforts are starting to make progress in increasing collaboration.

The big picture: As of Sept. 29, DRC reported 159 suspected Ebola cases with 104 suspected deaths.

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