Outbreak: A health worker pictured after the ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo
According to a report by the Daily Star UK, the number of fatal Ebola victims and people suspected of having the disease since April is much higher than first thought, officials have confirmed.
Democratic Republic of Congo reported 39 supected, probable or confirmed cases of the disease since April 4.
There have also been 19 deaths, World Health Organization said.
It marks a rise from the 32 suspected and 18 confirmed dead last week.
The organisation added that 393 people who identified as contacts of patients were being followed up.
The outbreak does not meet the criteria for declaring a “public health event of international concern”.
Such a declaration would warrant an emergency WHO committee.
But last week Daily Star Online revealed that WHO were preparing for the “worst case scenario”.
Peter Salama, deputy director-general of WHO’s emergency preparedness and response, said: “The number of suspected, probable and confirmed cases is significant, so we are very concerned, and we are planning for all scenarios, including the worst-case scenario.”
It marks the ninth time Ebola has been recorded in the country.
The health ministry said: “Our country is facing another epidemic of the Ebola virus, which constitutes an international public health emergency.
“We still dispose of the well-trained human resources that were able to rapidly control previous epidemics.”
The nation is prone to Ebola outbreaks due to its close proximity to the Congo River.
The disease is most feared for the internal and external bleeding it causes victims after blood vessel damage.
So far it has spread to three locations covering around 37 miles.
It comes after two British tourists who were held hostage in DRC were released.
Bethan Davies and Robert Jesty were named as the two kidnapped at gunpoint after a trip to a gorilla sanctuary, but it is not yet clear how the situation was resolved.