Ebola Outbreak

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EBOLA OUTBREAK

INTRODUCTION An epidemic of Ebola virus disease (EVD) is ongoing in West Africa. The outbreak began in Guinea in December 2013, but was not detected until March 2014, after which it spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal. The outbreak is caused by the Zaire ebola virus, known simply as the Ebola virus (EBOV). It is the most severe outbreak of Ebola in terms of the number of human cases and deaths since the discovery of the virus in 1976, with the number of cases from the current outbreak now outnumbering the combined cases from all known previous outbreaks. Another outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has killed 13 people as of 26 August 2014, is believed to be unrelated to the West African outbreak.

Initial outbreak in Guinea

Researchers believe that the first human case of the Ebola virus disease leading to the 2014 outbreak was a 2-year-old boy who died 6 December 2013 in the village of Meliandou, Guéckédou Prefecture, Guinea. His mother, 3-year-old sister and grandmother then became ill with symptoms consistent with Ebola infection and died. People infected by those victims spread the disease to other village.
On 19 March, the Ministry of Health acknowledged a local outbreak of an undetermined viral hemorrhagic fever; the outbreak, ongoing since February, had sickened at least 35 people and killed 23. Ebola was suspected, and samples had been sent to Senegal and France for disease identification. On 25 March, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the Ministry of Health of Guinea had reported an outbreak of Ebola virus disease in four southeastern districts: Guekedou, Macenta, Nzerekore and Kissidougou with suspected cases in the neighbouring countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone…...

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