Laboratory results confirmed two cases of the Disorder

World Health Organization deputy director-general for emergency preparedness and response, Dr. Peter Salama, said, "Our top priority is to get to Bikoro [a neighboring province] to work alongside the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and partners to reduce the loss of life and suffering related to this new Ebola virus disease outbreak".

This latest outbreak comes just two years since the worst Ebola outbreak on the planet which left 11,300 people dead.

The government has confirmed that two out of five samples collected by the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale in Kinshasa have tested positive for the highly infectious disease, which is often fatal if left untreated. The last outbreak occurred there in 2017 in the northern Bas Uele province.

They named the virus after a river in the Democratic Republic of Congo - then known as Zaire - that was close to the location of the first known outbreak. This was the eighth Ebola outbreak that the country has experienced since 1976.

The WHO says it is unclear whether the virus may be transmitted through sexual intercourse, but urges safe-sex practices among all Ebola survivors and their sexual partners.

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Prior to the 2017 outbreak, DRC faced a 2014 outbreak in which nearly 50 people died.

WHO and local officials were able to quickly control last year's outbreak in an isolated part of the country, though the 2013-2016 swept through densely populated areas, devastating Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone and sparking a USA debate about travel bans and whether to quarantine returning health workers.

Rapidly responding to Ebola is key to stopping the outbreak before it gets out of control. A report was released by Harvard Global Health Institute and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine which said that the speed of the response and lack of reliability led to human suffering and chaos.

"WHO is closely working with other partners, including Médecins Sans Frontières, to ensure a strong, response to support the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to prevent and control the spreading of the disease from the epicentre of iIkoko Iponge Health Zone to save lives", said Dr Allarangar Yokouide, WHO Representative in the DRC. Bats are able to host Ebola virus without risk of death.

Ebola is spread between humans in a variety of different ways. It often spreads to humans via infected bushmeat.

  • Sonia Alvarado