New Ebola outbreak in DR Congo

The health ministry also reported a "lab-confirmed" case on Twitter.

One person helping with the response who asked not to be identified said there are now 52 suspected cases-and deep frustration that a decision has yet to be made about whether to use the vaccine.

That experience helped Congolese authorities respond effectively to an outbreak in 2014 that killed 49 people.

The country "has taken all necessary measures to responde quickly and efficiently to this new outbreak", he said. "It's in a remote area, and an area where there's already awareness in that region to test for Ebola, because they've seen it before". Six patients are now hospitalized.

The outbreak reportedly started around April 22 in the Bas-Uele province, about 1,300 km (800 miles) northeast of the capital city of Kinshasa. In the West Africa outbreak, notes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 28,000 people were infected and 11,325 of them died.

The Zaire strain is the same one that caused an global public health emergency, more than 28,000 illnesses, and more than 11,000 deaths in West Africa in 2014 to 2016. That outbreak was not connected to the massive epidemic in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone that left thousands dead.

Liberia was the last of those states to be declared clear in January 2016. "The vaccine has shown high efficacy in clinical trials and could play a vital role in protecting the most vulnerable".

The trial was led by WHO, together with Guinea's Ministry of Health, Medecins sans Frontieres and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, in collaboration with other worldwide partners. "We always take this very seriously", said spokesman Eric Kabambi. The virus is passed from animals to humans and can spread quickly through a community via contact with an infected person's broken skin, mucous membranes, and bodily fluids like blood.

There is no specific treatment for the disease, though an experimental vaccine was recently developed that World Health Organization says could be used in emergencies.

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