Ebola outbreak declared in Democratic Republic of Congo

Three deaths in the region were linked to the Ebola virus

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Image: Anja Niedringhaus / AP/Press Association Images

An Ebola outbreak has been declared in the northeast region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says it's taking the situation "very seriously" after three deaths in a remote forest were linked to the virus.

One of those killed had tested positive for Ebola after coming down with a haemorrhagic fever last month in Bas-Uele, a province which borders the Central African Republic.

In a statement, the DRC's health ministry said "Our country must confront an outbreak of the Ebola virus that constitutes a public health crisis of international significance."

A spokesman for the WHO Eric Kabambi said that "The case is in a very remote zone, very forested, so we are a little lucky."

The DRC suffered a three-month outbreak of Ebola back in 2014. Although it was quickly contained, 49 people were killed.

Ebola occasionally jumps from animals including bats and monkeys to humans, and without preventative measures, the virus can spread quickly between people.

The virus is fatal in up to 90% of cases, and the WHO has recently developed an experimental vaccine for use in emergencies.

The WHO also said in a tweet that the "WHO and partners are supporting the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the response."

Additional reporting from IRN.