Ebola has killed at least one person in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and the World Health Organization confirmed Friday at least one person had tested positive for the deadly virus.
This is the eighth Ebola outbreak in the DRC since 1976.
The 2013-2016 West African Ebola outbreak, which resulted in more than 11 300 deaths, highlighted the need for a vaccine.
The WHO said it received notice of "lab-confirmed" case of Ebola in the DRC on Thursday. The WHO has described Congo as "the country that knows how to beat Ebola".
Describing the outbreak as "a public health crisis of global importance", the WHO said that teams of experts from UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and Medecins Sans Frontieres will arrive in the country this weekend.
The WHO was criticised at the time for responding too slowly and failing to grasp the gravity of the outbreak.
The vaccine, known as rVSV-ZEBOV, was shown to be highlyprotective against Ebola in clinical trials published lastDecember. Without preventive measures, the virus can spread quickly between people and is fatal in up to 90 percent of cases. It concluded that the vaccine "most likely provides some protection", but the protection might be "quite low".
A spokesperson for the World Health Organization also said that the latest outbreak was being taken seriously.
Ebola virus in gorilla and chimpanzees taking a toll The Ebola virus is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be transmitted to humans from wild animals.
The UN body said the case had been confirmed by a national reference laboratory in Kinshasa. SAGE further suggested that Expanded Access study "be implemented promptly after the confirmation of a case" and that the vaccine be used in the same "ring vaccination" strategy that worked in Guinea, which gave shots to people (including health care workers) who were in close contact with each confirmed case.
The Zaire strain of the virus is one of the most lethal.