Officials said 17 people have died in an area of northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo where health officials have now confirmed an outbreak of Ebola.
It is the ninth time Ebola has been recorded in the central African nation, whose eastern Ebola river gave the deadly virus its name when it was discovered there in the 1970s, and comes less than a year after its last outbreak which killed eight people.
“Our country is facing another epidemic of the Ebola virus, which constitutes an international public health emergency,” the Health Ministry said in a statement.
“We still dispose of the well trained human resources that were able to rapidly control previous epidemics,” the ministry said.
Ebola is believed to be spread over long distances by bats, which can host the virus without dying, as it infects other animals it shares trees with such as monkeys.
It often spreads to humans via infected bushmeat.
Before the outbreak was confirmed, local health officials reported 21 patients showing signs of hemorrhagic fever around the village of Ikoko Impenge, near the town of Bikoro.