Four more cases of suspected Ebola have been reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The main hospital in the northwestern town of Bikoro received the new cases on Thursday, according to the hospital’s director.
A total of 25 are now thought to have been infected since the start of the year. At least 17 of those have died.
Only two cases have been confirmed as Ebola, by a laboratory in the capital Kinshasa.
Hospital director Serge Ngaleto said that among the four cases, two were health workers who had come into contact with people suspected of being infected.
It is the ninth time Ebola has been recorded in the DRC. Last year, eight people were infected and four people died after an outbreak of the disease, according to the Centres for Disease Control.
Ebola virus disease, formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.
The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
Cases of haemorrhagic fever were reported as far back as December and the first deaths were reported in January, a spokesman for the World Health Organization said.
A timespan as long as five months since the first infection would give the virus a head start in infecting lots of people before action was taken to contain it.
“According to our early information, the cases have been reported since December and the first deaths were reported in January, but the link between the deaths and the epidemic has not yet been established,” WHO Congo spokesman Eugene Kabambi told Reuters.
The worst Ebola epidemic in history ended in west Africa just two years ago after killing more than 11,300 people and infecting 28,600 in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.