The World Health Organization says the Democratic Republic of the Congo is again facing an outbreak of the contagious and deadly Ebola virus.
Congolese Health Minister Oly Ilunga announced Saturday that three people had died of the virus in the northeast of the country.
Ilunga urged people not to panic and said officials had taken all necessary measures to respond to the outbreak.
The World Health Organization said it was working with Congolese authorities to deploy health workers in the remote area where the three deaths occurred, all on April 22. Eleven other cases are suspected in the area.
WHO’s regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, went to the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, on Friday to discuss disease response.
The remoteness of the affected area, 1,300 kilometers from Kinshasa, means word of the outbreak was slow to emerge. WHO said specialist teams were expected to arrive in the area, known as the Likati health zone, within the next day or two.
This was the first outbreak of the virus in DRC since 2014, when 49 people died of Ebola.