Health officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo say one person has died in what appears to be a new outbreak of the very deadly and very contagious Ebola virus.

"This situation worries us and requires a very immediate and energetic response," said the DRC's Health Minister Oly Ilunga.  He identified the first fatality as a nurse, and said three other nurses from the same hospital have come down with haemorrhagic fever suspected to be Ebola. 

These and another seven patients are on top of the grim news reported by the UN World Health Organization earlier this week:  WHO says there were an earlier 27 cases of haemorrhagic fever resulting in 17 deaths were reported in Bikoro health zone; of the total cases, two have been confirmed positive for Ebola virus disease.

Officials from the World Health Organization and other international health agencies have deployed to the town of Bikoro in the Equateur province to help contain the outbreak's spread.

This is the ninth Ebola outbreak in DR Congo since 1976, when the deadly disease was first identified.