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How common is Ebola?

Since Ebola was first recognized in 1976, the disease has been rare and occurred in sporadic outbreaks in west and central Africa. However, the 2014 outbreak has involved more cases and deaths than all other outbreaks combined. Historically, the only cases of human-to-human transmission have happened in Africa, or involved healthcare workers who treated infected persons who traveled from Africa. In addition, a few laboratory workers have become infected after accidents handling the virus. Unless you are in a place where there has been a recent outbreak or are caring for someone with Ebola, your chances of contracting Ebola are extremely low.

Ebola viruses are found in several African countries. Ebola was first discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since then, outbreaks have appeared sporadically in Africa. Since 1976, there have been 21 reported outbreaks of Ebola, including the current epidemic.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.