Situated near the border with the Central African Republic, the northeastern province of Bas-Uele is relatively remote. Of the cases and deaths, one has tested PCR-positive for Ebola. The zone is some 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) from the capital, Kinshasa.
Prior to the new Ebola case, the Canadian government already had an advisory warning against all non-essential travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo "because of the current political and security situation".
The WHO declared Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the three countries that had been most effected by the epidemic, free of Ebola in 2016.
National officials and the media agency announced on Friday that at least one case of the virus had been confirmed in the village of Lakiti.
"We are grateful to WHO and other partners for the swift support in carrying out investigations that led to the confirmation of this outbreak", said Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga, the Minister of Health of DR Congo.
He recalled that the country began health screening at the airports during the Ebola crisis of 2014, and the screening has continued since then.
A spokesman for the Geneva-based United Nations health agency told Reuters the WHO was working with specialists to conduct an epidemiological investigation "to better understand the extent of the current outbreak" and to establish who is at risk of becoming infected with Ebola.
People suspected of being infected with Ebola, the report found, should also not hesitate to go to the hospital or clinic for evaluation and treatment.
Six people remain hospitalized with the unsafe virus, which can cause hemorrhagic fever.
A specialized team - medical doctors and ten nurses trained on Ebola - was stationed at Kigali International Airport. There are no plans to use it yet, but it is an option if the outbreak continues to spread and is the same Ebola Zaire strain that occurred in West Africa.
The authors recommended specific changes and improvements be made in future response efforts, including outbreak-related research, reforms to the World Health Organization and an improved humanitarian response.
Ebola is a highly infectious virus spread through contact with bodily fluids, and testing shows the latest outbreak involves the Zaire strain, the most unsafe of the viruses known to cause the disease. The West Africa epidemic, which took more than 11,000 lives, was by far the biggest, but there have been other smaller outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo.