WHO issues warning as Ebola virus kills 31 in DRC

  • An outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo has left 31 people dead and could spread across major towns, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Thursday.

    An epidemic was officially declared on August 17 in the vast country’s north western Orientale Province.

    According to WHO officials, the situation was "very serious" and was "not under control".

    Ebola is highly contagious and kills up to 90 percent of people infected.

    The virus, for which there is no vaccine, is transmitted to humans from monkeys and birds and causes massive internal bleeding.

    Last month, an outbreak of a more deadly strain in neighboring Uganda killed 16 people. The two outbreaks are not believed to be related.