Ebola
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History of a Virus

Ebola Timeline

See when and where the Ebola virus has struck over the years.

1 / 7 History of a Virus

As just about everyone knows, Ebola is all over the news these days. But you may not know that 2014 isn’t the only time the virus has made headlines -- nor is it the first time it’s been recognized in the US. Check out this timeline of Ebola outbreaks since the disease was first discovered nearly 40 years ago.
 
 
1976: Ebola First Identified

2 / 7 1976: Ebola First Identified

The first person to be diagnosed with Ebola, a fever that causes hemorrhaging, showed symptoms after being treated for malaria in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo), near the Ebola River. Of the 318 cases that followed, nearly all had either received injections at the same hospital or had close contact with another patient. The clinic was closed, and 280 people died. 
 
1989-1990: Ebola Strain is ID’d in US Labs

3 / 7 1989-1990: Ebola Strain is ID’d in US Labs

Monkeys imported from the Philippines and infected with Ebola-Reston, a strain of Ebola, introduced the virus in Virginia, Pennsylvania and later, Texas. Luckily, none of the lab workers who came in contact with them became sick. More study of Ebola-Reston is needed to understand its dangers to humans.
 
Related: Is there a cure for Ebola? 
 
1996: Ebola Spreads to South Africa

4 / 7 1996: Ebola Spreads to South Africa

After eating a chimp found dead in the forest, a group of Gabon hunters contracted Ebola. More people became ill a few months later, again contracting the virus from a dead chimp. One healthcare worker from South Africa treating Gabon patients fell ill, and a nurse treating him contracted the virus and died. In all, at least 67 people died from the epidemic. 
 
Related: Know the symptoms of Ebola

 

2000-2003: Outbreaks Continue

5 / 7 2000-2003: Outbreaks Continue

Outbreaks of various strains of Ebola occurred in Uganda, Gabon and Democratic Republic of the Congo. Of the 725 reported cases, 477 people died.

 

Related: What increases my risk for Ebola?

2014-2015: Widespread Ebola Outbreak

6 / 7 2014-2015: Widespread Ebola Outbreak

Starting in March 2014 and continuing through much of 2015, Ebola outbreaks caused thousands of deaths in several African countries, including Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. Isolated cases spread outside the region, including to the U.S., as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other organizations worked to contain the virus. Health authorities began testing experimental Ebola vaccines in Africa as the outbreak started to wind down. 



Related video: How Close Are We to Developing an Ebola Vaccine?

 

2016: WHO Says Ebola No Longer a World Health Emergency

7 / 7 2016: WHO Says Ebola No Longer a World Health Emergency

On March 29, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the end of the global health emergency of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The WHO noted, though, that small clusters of cases will likely continue to flare up. The organization also warned male survivors they could spread Ebola to their sexual partners for up to a year after recovering.

Ebola

Ebola

Ebola virus disease is a severe, often fatal illness in humans. It is caused by a family of viruses that originate in central and west Africa. The disease is rare and occurs in sporadic outbreaks. Ebola is spread through direct co...

ntact with the bodily fluids of infected individuals or objects, such as needles or bedsheets, that have been contaminated with the virus. Your risk of contracting Ebola is very low unless you visit an area where it is widespread. There are no approved treatments for the disease, but some experimental treatments have shown promise. Vaccines are currently under development.
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