World Health Organization said Thursday that between April 4 and May 5, twenty-seven cases of fever with hemorrhagic signs, including 17 deaths, were reported in the DRC's Bikoro district. Jasarevic stated that most cases of the disease were from Bikoro Health Zone and a smaller number from the neighboring Iboko Health Zone in Equateur province.
DR Congo authorities on Tuesday described the Ebola outbreak as a "public health emergency with global impact". Three healthcare workers are reportedly also sickened with the disease.
Some experts assume the DRC's stricter epidemiological surveillance and better disease response system compared to other African countries, including Gabon and the Republic of Congo, are other reasons why the DRC has had so many reported cases of Ebola.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday that use of the vaccine could begin by the end of this week.
The DRC Ministry of Public Health has requested WHO's support in coordinating the worldwide and NGO response to the health crisis.
"Information about the extent of the outbreak is still limited and investigations are ongoing".
More than 11,000 people died and some 28,000 cases were reported in an Ebola outbreak in West Africa between 2014 and 2015.
But this epidemic's proximity to the Congo River, a major transport route and lifeline both to Congo's capital Kinshasa and to neighbouring Congo Republic's capital Brazzaville, makes it more likely the virus could break out into a wider area. Currently, WHO considers the public health risk to be high at the national level, moderate at the regional level, and low at the worldwide level.
"At present", the agency added, "this event does not meet the criteria of a public health event of global concern".