GENEVA, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday that it's rather concerned over the increase of confirmed Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) during the past four weeks, despite significant improvements in the response action against the outbreak.
The increase over the past four weeks in confirmed case incidence, most notably in the city of Beni and communities around Butembo in North Kivu Province, is concerning, the WHO said, as security incidents have continued to severely impact both civilians and frontline workers.
Moreover, community resistance or reluctance have also continued to hamper timely detection of new Ebola cases and the effectiveness of response operations, even though the response to the disease outbreak has seen significant improvements, including strong performances by field teams conducting case investigations, vaccinations, and community engagement and risk communication in priority areas.
According to the latest WHO statistics, as of Tuesday, 279 Ebola cases, including 244 confirmed cases and 35 probable ones, had been registered, while the death had risen to 179. All these cases were reported in North Kivu Province and the neighboring Ituri Province.
The WHO warned that with ongoing transmission, the risk of the outbreak spreading to other provinces in DR Congo, as well as to neighboring countries, remains very high.
While still closely monitoring the outbreak situation, the WHO's assessment of the outbreak risk remains unchanged, which is very high at the national and regional levels, but low on the global level, it said.
The WHO continues to advise against any restriction of travel to, and trade with, DR Congo based on currently available information.