Ebola: Three people killed in Democratic Republic of Congo as new epidemic declared by WHO

A Doctors Without Borders health worker stands in an Ebola virus treatment centre in Conakry, Guinea (Reuters)

A new Ebola epidemic has been declared in the Democratic Republic of Congo after the deaths of three people thought to be linked to the virus.

The country’s health ministry confirmed one person has tested positive for the virus.

The World Health Organisation confirmed that the DR Congo had informed them of a lab-confirmed case of the disease.

The case was confirmed from tests on nine people who came down with a hemorrhagic fever in Bas-Uele province in the northeast of the country on or after April 22, the statement said.

Spokesman Eric Kabambi said: ‘The case is in a very remote zone, very forested, so we are a little lucky. We always take this very seriously’

The disease was first identified in 1976.

The largest outbreak has been the recent epidemic in West Africa from December 2013 to January 2016 which killed more than 11,000 people.

In 2014, a three-month outbreak of Ebola in the the DR Congo killed 49 people.

It was declared no longer an emergency in March 2016.

The disease has a 90% fatality rate to date, but the WHO recently developed a an experimental vaccine that can be used in emergencies.