What's the connection between bats and Ebola virus?

Because the natural reservoir host of Ebola has not yet been confirmed, the way in which the virus first appears in a human at the start of an Ebola outbreak is unknown. Based on evidence and the nature of other similar viruses, researchers believe that Ebola is animal-borne (zoonotic) and that bats are the most likely reservoir. Scientists believe that the first patient becomes infected through contact with an infected animal, such as a fruit bat or primate (apes and monkeys), which is called a spillover event. Person-to-person transmission follows and can lead to large numbers of affected people.

Continue Learning about Ebola

Lessons From The Largest Ebola Outbreak In History
Lessons From The Largest Ebola Outbreak In History
The largest Ebola outbreak since the disease was discovered in 1976 has been going on since March 2014 and has killed more than 11,000 people in multi...
Read More
What increases my risk for Ebola?
Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhDDr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
The risk of being infected with Ebola is very low for most people. You are at risk only if you have ...
More Answers
Ebola Timeline
Ebola TimelineEbola TimelineEbola TimelineEbola Timeline
See when and where the Ebola virus has struck over the years.
Start Slideshow
Should I Worry About Getting Ebola?
Should I Worry About Getting Ebola?

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.