UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — Health officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo have declared a new Ebola outbreak.

It’s Congo’s ninth Ebola outbreak since 1976.

The latest one, in Bikoro, Équateur Province, follows lab results that confirmed two of five patients tested positive for Ebola virus disease.

Health officials said May 8 the area has seen 21 cases of suspected viral haemorrhagic fever — including 17 deaths — over the past five weeks.

Congo’s Health Ministry reportedly called it a “public health emergency with international impact.”

However, the World Health Organization has already begun deploying resources to stop it from spreading to neighboring countries in Central Africa.

The WHO’s Dr. Peter Salama says this early response is vital for containment.

Ebola is transmitted to humans via wild animals like bats. It can then spread from human-to-human through contact with bodily fluids.   

The survival rate is just 50 percent.