Health workers in Congo being vaccinated against Ebola

Traffic in the city of Mbandaka in northwest Congo in May 2018 during a previos Ebola outbreak

Traffic in the city of Mbandaka in northwest Congo in May 2018 during a previos Ebola outbreak

"Twelve teams of vaccinators will be deployed in different affected areas", the ministry said, adding that teams had arrived in Beni.

At least 37 people have died so far in this latest outbreak, the 10th for country.

The total death toll has reached seven from 16 confirmed cases, the ministry said in a bulletin on Monday.

World Health Organisation (WHO) officials have started vaccinating people in the Democratic Republic of Congo following the latest Ebola outbreak.

"It's good news and it's very bad news", WHO Deputy Director-General for Emergency Preparedness and Response Peter Salama told journalists in Geneva, after the new cases were first confirmed.

There is no specific treatment, and the virus can be fatal in up to 90 percent of cases, depending on the strain. "It will enable us to break the chain of transmission of this epidemic".

According to World Health Organization, this outbreak, which is in an active conflict zone, will be more complicated to contain than any that came before.

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Congo announced the latest outbreak on August 1 with four confirmed cases, a week after declaring the end to a previous outbreak in the northwest with 33 deaths.

DR Congo health minister Oly Ilunga had said: "The government knew this outbreak presented a higher risk than last year's (smaller) outbreak due to the fact the health workers were among the first victims". These suspected cases had been detected in both North Kivu and neighboring Ituri province. Its capital is the city of Goma.

But they face security challenges in eastern Congo, a region bubbling with conflicts over land and ethnicity stoked by decades of on-off war.

The Allied Democratic Forces, a Ugandan rebel group that has operated in the region since 1995, are believed to be behind the attack and kidnapping.

It said that three people were confirmed to have died as a result of the virus.

"On the scale of difficulty, trying to extinguish a deadly outbreak pathogen in a war zone" is at the top of the scale, he said, according to a United Nations transcript.

It was successful during its first wide-scale usage against the previous outbreak in Equateur Province.

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