KINSHASA:-Three new Ebola cases have been confirmed in the Democratic Republic of Congo's sprawling northwest taking the number of suspected infections to 43, the health minister said in a statement seen Saturday. Alarm bells sounded on Thursday after the outbreak, previously reported in a remote rural area of the country, notched up its first confirmed case in Mbandaka, a city of 1.2 million. "Three new cases were reported (in Mbandaka) and tested positive for the Ebola virus," Health Minister Oly Ilungao said in the statement.

"In total, 43 cases of haemorrhagic fever have been flagged in the region of which 17 are confirmed, 21 are probable and five are suspected cases," he said.