WHO steps up Ebola response in Congo: 4 things to know

The World Health Organization is stepping up efforts to contain the Democratic Republic of Congo's Ebola outbreak and reported a decrease in both new infections and deaths during its last reporting period, according to an update from the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy in Minneapolis.   

Here are four things to know:

1. As of Dec. 5, the WHO reported 471 Ebola cases in the country, 423 of which are confirmed. The outbreak's death toll sits at 273, with 225 deaths directly linked to Ebola.

2. Three more healthcare workers contracted Ebola, which brings the total number of illnesses to 43 for this population. A dozen health workers died from the virus, according to a WHO African regional office report cited by CIDRAP.

3. The WHO said the number of both Ebola infections and deaths dropped the week of Nov. 23 to Dec. 1, compared to a week prior.

4. The organization said it's also stepped up community engagement, risk communication and Ebola contact tracing efforts to help contain the virus' spread.

"The [Ebola] outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to be of grave concern, with ongoing challenges around insecurity and community resistance," the WHO said in the report. "It is anticipated that these interventions will turn the tide in the evolution of the outbreak."

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