Democratic Republic of Congo health officials say doctors have confirmed seven new cases of the deadly Ebola virus, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 24.

Government officials said Friday that mobile laboratories confirmed the latest cases in Kampunga, an area of West Kasai province considered the epicenter of the outbreak.

A total of six people have died of the virus so far.

WHO officials have said about 400 people have fallen ill in the central DRC from illnesses suspected to be Ebola, typhoid or shigella - a diarrhea-like disease.

The U.N. agency says these additional ailments are making it difficult to identify and isolate Ebola.

The Ebola virus causes a type of hemorrhagic fever that can cause bleeding from the eyes, ears and other parts of the body. The illness results in death for 50 to 90 percent of cases.

The last major outbreak of Ebola in Congo occurred in 1995, killing some 250 people.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.