Initial Outbreak Period (December 2013–May 22, 2014)

  • Stephan Gregory Bullard


The 2013–2016 Ebola outbreak began in a small Guinean village. A 2-year-old boy contacted Ebola, most likely after coming into contact with free-tailed bats, possibly by playing with them. The epidemiology of the outbreak initially followed the course of previous Ebola outbreaks. A small number of people were infected and local officials and international aid agencies worked to identify and isolate patients. Significant concern was raised when Ebola cases began to appear in Guinea’s capital, Conakry, and in the neighboring country of Liberia. The disease was also thought to have spread to Sierra Leone, although no positive samples were collected from that country. By the middle of May 2014, it appeared that the outbreak had run its course. No new cases had been seen for some time, and all known patients had either recovered or died. What was not known was that undetected transmission chains remained. Ebola continued to spread, helped by local customs such as traditional burial practices where the body of the deceased is washed and touched. The stage was set for the rapid expansion of Ebola that would occur in the late spring and early summer of 2014.


Ebola Guéckédou Index case Outbreak Zaire ebolavirus 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephan Gregory Bullard
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Hartford Hillyer CollegeWest HartfordUSA

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