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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.

Meanwhile, DRC public health officials told Axios earlier this week that they've seen some progress in their community outreach programs, after reporting problems with convincing an infected person to undergo treatment.

Another practice that health officials are trying to halt is the tradition of washing the body of a deceased person, including touching and kissing the body during the wake — all during a time when the virus remains infectious in the body, a DRC Ministry of Health spokesperson tells Axios.

However, the spokesperson added that some schools in the infected areas have started on time as planned.