Ebola virus disease

Congo's fight against Ebola shows some progress but vigilance needed

Data: Ministry of Health DRC; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

While prevention methods, vaccination rates, experimental treatments and community outreach appear to have made progress in slowing the rate of deadly Ebola infections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, top public health officials warn that this improvement is endangered because two cities, Beni and Butembo, have become hotspots.

What's new: "Significant risks for further spread of the disease remain, " World Health Organization officials warned in a statement Thursday. WHO is concerned about lost access to people who are considered "contacts" of the infected, as well as other factors like some remaining pockets of resistance to treatment.

UNICEF and Congo officials boost efforts to contain Ebola outbreak

Data: Ministry of Health DRC; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

In response to an small uptick in confirmed Ebola cases in the busy urban hub of Butembo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, UNICEF announced Friday it's bolstering its efforts there.

What's new: UNICEF is sending a team of specialists in community communication, education, psycho-social assistance and hygiene to help contain the disease and avoid any further spread of the epidemic, which has become the 8th largest outbreak on record.