Ebola Virus Disease: History, Epidemiology and Outbreaks


Over the past 40 years, sporadic Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreaks have occurred mostly in the central African region. In March 2014, an outbreak of EVD was recognized in Guinea which would become the most significant outbreak of haemorrhagic fever in Africa to date. The outbreak started in Guinea and rapidly spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone, claiming thousands of lives. Many questions still remain regarding the ecology of Ebola viruses, but it is believed that contact with infected bushmeat is an important risk factor for initial spill over of the virus into the human population. At present, there is still no registered prophylaxis or curative biologicals against EVD.

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Correspondence to Lucille Blumberg.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Tropical, Travel and Emerging Infections

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Weyer, J., Grobbelaar, A. & Blumberg, L. Ebola Virus Disease: History, Epidemiology and Outbreaks. Curr Infect Dis Rep 17, 21 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11908-015-0480-y

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  • Ebola virus
  • Filovirus
  • Outbreak
  • West Africa
  • Guinea
  • Liberia
  • Sierra Leone
  • Viral haemorrhagic fever