Ebola Virus Disease (Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever)
Ebola Virus Disease Quick Facts
Ebola Virus Disease History
The first Ebola virus species was discovered in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) near the Ebola River, where it received its name. The first outbreak of Ebola virus disease infected 318 people and caused 280 deaths, with a mortality rate of 88%. A simultaneous outbreak occurred in Sudan and caused a mortality rate of 53%. Since then, sporadic outbreaks have occurred in Central and West Africa, with no cases reported between 1979 and 1994. In 1989, an Ebola virus strain, called Ebola-Reston, was introduced into Reston, Virginia, by infected monkeys imported from the Philippines. Fortunately, research workers who were exposed to the Ebola virus never developed symptoms of Ebola virus disease.
The latest and ongoing Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa was first reported in March 2014. It is considered the worst outbreak in Ebola virus history with a rising death toll in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria. As of August 2014, there were almost 2,000 cases with over 1,000 deaths reported. Previous outbreaks had fewer than 500 cases in a year.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/14/2014
MaryAnn Tran, MD
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