A health worker is sprayed with chlorine after visiting the isolation ward at Bikoro hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo where a suspected Ebola case was admitted. Picture: Jean Robert N'Kengo/Reuters

Moscow - The World Health Organization (WHO) has said in a statement that it has revised its Ebola virus risk assessment for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from "high to "very high," and from "moderate" to "high" at a regional level.

Earlier this month, the WHO informed about a new Ebola outbreak the DRC. On Thursday, the organization said that five new cases had been registered in the city of Mbandaka, which has a population of approximately 1 .5 million people.

"The confirmed case in Mbandaka, a large urban centre located on major national and international river, road and domestic air routes increases the risk of spread within the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to neighbouring countries. WHO has therefore revised the assessment of public health risk to very high at the national level and high at the regional level. At the global level the risk is currently low," the statement, issued on Thursday, read.

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According to the DRC Health Ministry, 45 Ebola cases have so far been recorded - 14 confirmed, 10 probable and 21 suspected.

The Ebola virus is transmitted to humans from animals and has an estimated 50-percent fatality rate, according to the WHO. The disease killed over 11,000 people in West Africa between 2014 and 2015.

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