Ebola and Other Haemorrhagic Fevers

  • Mathieu BourgarelEmail author
  • Florian Liégeois


Ebola virus disease (EVD) and other viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHF) are mainly acute zoonotic diseases and represent a major threat to public health in Central and West Africa, and worldwide. They are caused by viruses of different families Flaviviridae, Bunyaviridae, Arenaviridae, and Filoviridae. Their circulation is generally restricted to the geographic distribution area of their natural hosts and the viruses emerge or re-emerge continuously where favourable conditions are met. These emergencies are still unpredictable and difficult to control as numerous knowledge gaps in the ecology of the viruses and the transmission routes still need to be filled despite the huge effort of the scientific community. The role of wildlife as a natural host of viruses and the interface/interaction between human/livestock/wildlife yet to be fully appreciated to really understand the ecology, the mechanisms of cross-species spill over and the epidemiology of EVD and other transboundary diseases. The 2014–2016 outbreak of EVD in West Africa, with more than 28,600 reported cases and 11,310 reported deaths, showed the significant epidemic potential, the transboundary nature and the global public health threat of EVD and other VHF in an increasingly interconnected world of intensified travel and trade. Beyond the human loss, the Ebola epidemic impacted the global economy of the African continent and more than USD 3.6 billion were spent to fight the outbreak. Since the first outbreak of EVD in 1976 in South Sudan and RDC, the control of epidemics relied on containment and isolation of the symptomatic patients and dead bodies to stop human-to-human transmission. Today, vaccine and treatment are under trial and show promising first results to fight EVD outbreaks and are currently tested during the 2018 EVD outbreak in RDC.


Filovirus VHF Public-health impact Economic impact Transboundary spreading 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CIRAD, UMR ASTREMontpellierFrance
  2. 2.ASTRE, CIRAD, INRA, Univ. MontpellierMontpellierFrance
  3. 3.IRD, UMR MIVEGEC, Univ. MontpellierMontpellierFrance

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