'Experts will meet on Friday to determine whether to declare the Ebola epidemic in central Africa "a public health emergency of international concern," said the World Health Organization.
The move follows the spread of the virus from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Uganda where a five-year-old boy died and two others are confirmed to have the deadly hemorrhagic disease.
The Ebola outbreak has been raging in DRC since August where more than 2,000 cases have been recorded, two-thirds of them fatal.
WHO's emergency committee has met twice to consider declaring the outbreak an international emergency but on both occasions - the latest in April - decided not to, in part because the virus remained contained in DRC.
For the committee to make the emergency call, it must determine that the epidemic "carries implications for public health beyond the affected State's national border and may require immediate international action," said the WHO.
Following the death of the five-year-old in a Ugandan isolation unit late on Tuesday night, the country announced two more cases of Ebola on Wednesday - a grandmother and a three-year-old boy.
The two new victims were the boy's brother and grandmother, the Ugandan Health Ministry said. His grandfather also recently died of Ebola.
"This epidemic is in a truly frightening phase and shows no sign of stopping," said Jeremy Farrar, an infectious disease specialist and director of the Wellcome Trust, a global health charity.
"We can expect and should plan for more cases in DRC and neighbouring countries.
"There are now more deaths than any other Ebola outbreak in history, bar the West Africa epidemic of 2013-16, and there can be no doubt that the situation could escalate towards those terrible levels."'
Read more: WHO considers declaring Ebola an 'international emergency' as 'frightening' outbreak spreads to Uganda
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3 July 2019
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