The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has spread southwards to a high-security risk area according to the World Health Organization.
In its latest Disease Outbreak Update, it said the outbreak had spread to the Kayina health zone and that teams are working actively to build community trust and scale up response activities in the area.
It comes as the organisation warns that the number of reported cases of Ebola has increased during recent weeks. These increases have been particularly notable in the Katwa health zone where response teams have faced pockets of community mistrust, it said.
As of 22 January 2019, there have been a total of 713 Ebola virus disease cases including 439 deaths. More than 100 cases were reported from 13 health zones between January 2 and January 22 alone. Sixty-one healthcare workers have been infected to date.
The WHO stressed that the risk of national and regional spread is very high and said it is important for neighbouring provinces and countries to enhance surveillance and preparedness activities. “The International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) Emergency Committee has advised that failing to intensify these preparedness and surveillance activities would lead to worsening conditions and further spread,” it added.