More than 1,400 people have died and more than 2,000 have been infected in latest outbreak of Ebola in central Africa, the World Health Organization has said.
The international health body has declared it “very much an emergency” in the region, but says it is not a global threat.
The outbreak is the second-largest in the history of the virus. It follows the 2013-16 epidemic in West Africa that killed more than 11,300 people.
1. Ebola cases are on the rise
So far, more than 1,400 people have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo and two in neighbouring Uganda in the latest outbreak, which began in August last year.
A 50-year-old woman died in western Uganda on Thursday, a day after the virus killed her five-year-old grandson. They are the first two cases reported outside DR Congo.
Doctors have confirmed another relative – a three-year-old child who was repatriated to DR Congo from Uganda – has also died.
2. DR Congo and Uganda have been affected
The current 10-month epidemic began in the eastern region of Kivu in the DR Congo and cases have recently been reported across the border in Uganda.
The two victims who died in Uganda had travelled across the border from DR Congo after caring for an elderly male relative before his death from Ebola. They sought medical attention after falling ill themselves.
Members of their family have been placed in isolation.
Although the current outbreak has not yet spread to Uganda, thousands of people cross the border to and from DR Congo every day and health officials are screening travellers to check their temperature and disinfect their hands.
Uganda’s Health Minister, Jane Ruth Aceng, said the challenge was to stop people crossing at “unofficial entry points” between the two countries.
Ebola first appeared in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks, one in what is now South Sudan, and the other in DR Congo. The latter occurred in a village near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name.
There are normally fewer than 500 cases reported each year, and no cases were reported at all between 1979 and 1994.
The current outbreak is the worst on record after an epidemic that struck Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone between 2013-16, leaving more than 11,300 people dead.
It killed five times more than all other known Ebola outbreaks combined.
The WHO has warned the world is entering “a new phase” where large outbreaks of such deadly diseases are a “new normal”.
3. The virus can spread quickly
Ebola infects humans through close contact with infected animals, including chimpanzees, fruit bats and forest antelope.
It can then spread rapidly, through contact with even small amounts of bodily fluid of those infected – or indirectly through contact with contaminated environments.
Even funerals of Ebola victims can be a risk, if mourners have direct contact with the body of the deceased.
Initial symptoms can include a sudden fever, intense weakness, muscle pain and a sore throat, according to the WHO.