Ebola outbreak hits high-risk area in Congo: 4 things to know

The Democratic Republic of Congo's ongoing Ebola outbreak has spread to an area that poses security threats for health workers, reports Reuters.

Four things to know:

1. Since the outbreak started in August 2018, most infections have occurred in the country's Katwa health zone. However, "the outbreak has also extended southwards to Kayina health zone, a high security risk area," the WHO said in a Jan. 24 statement cited by Reuters. Political unrest and frequent fighting in the Congo have hampered healthcare workers' efforts to monitor and educate those at risk of exposure.

2. Health officials identified five Ebola cases in Kayina, which sits between the main outbreak zone and Goma, a major city near the Rwandan border.

3. The WHO has already run an Ebola simulation exercise in Rwanda in case the outbreak spreads across the border. The organization also plans to send a team to vaccinate health workers and boost the country's outbreak preparedness.

4. As of Jan. 23, Congo's health ministry reported 713 confirmed and probable infections linked to the outbreak, along with 439 deaths.

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