Ebola outbreak up to 560 cases in Congo

Health officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo are revamping a strategic response plan for the country's ongoing Ebola outbreak, which surpassed 550 cases Dec. 19, according to CNN.

The World Health Organization reported 560 confirmed and probable Ebola cases linked to the outbreak as of Dec. 19, including 336 deaths. An additional 87 cases are still under investigation, and 193 people have recovered from the virus.

Congo's Minister of Health Oly Ilunga Kalenga, MD, PhD, visited the cities of Beni, Goma and Butembo to assess the areas' challenges and needs amid the outbreak. The health ministry will use this information to draft a third strategic response plan outlining Ebola response efforts for February to April 2019.

"This constant adaptation of the national strategy demonstrates the dynamic nature of this response to the most complex Ebola outbreak in the country's history," Congo's health ministry said in a statement cited by CNN.

Violence and community resistance have complicated health workers' efforts to contain the outbreak, which started in August. However, "meaningful progress has been made across the outbreak affected areas, most especially in Beni where there has been a general decrease in case incidence in recent weeks," the WHO said in a Dec. 20 update.

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