About Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF) is one of numerous Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers. It is a severe, often fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates (such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees). Ebola HF is caused by infection with a virus of the family Filoviridae, genus Ebolavirus. When infection occurs, symptoms usually begin abruptly. The first Ebolavirus species was discovered in 1976 in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo near the Ebola River. Since then, outbreaks have appeared sporadically. There are five identified subspecies of Ebolavirus. Four of the five have caused disease in humans: Ebola virus (Zaire ebolavirus); Sudan virus (Sudan ebolavirus); Taï Forest virus (Taï Forest ebolavirus, formerly Côte d’Ivoire ebolavirus); and Bundibugyo virus (Bundibugyo ebolavirus). The fifth, Reston virus (Reston ebolavirus), has caused disease in nonhuman primates, but not in humans. The natural reservoir host of ebolaviruses remains unknown. However, on the basis of available evidence and the nature of similar viruses, researchers believe that the virus is zoonotic (animal-borne) with bats being the most likely reservoir. Four of the five subtypes occur in an animal host native to Africa. A host of similar species is probably associated with Reston virus, which was isolated from infected cynomolgous monkeys imported to the United States and Italy from the Philippines. Several workers in the Philippines and in US holding facility outbreaks became infected with the virus, but did not become ill.

2014 Outbreak

The 2014 Ebola outbreak is one of the largest Ebola outbreaks in history and the first in West Africa. It is affecting four countries in West Africa: Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, but does not pose a significant risk to the U.S. public. CDC is working with other U.S. government agencies, the World Health Organization, and other domestic and international partners in an international response to the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa. CDC has activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to help coordinate technical assistance and control activities with partners. CDC has deployed several teams of public health experts to the West Africa region and plans to send additional public health experts to the affected countries to expand current response activities.

As of August 20, 2014

The Guinean Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Liberia, and the Nigerian Ministry of Health are working with national and international partners to investigate and respond to the outbreak.

Guinea
  • The Guinea Ministry of Health announced 607 suspect and confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including 443 laboratory-confirmed cases, and 406 deaths.
  • Affected districts include Conakry, Guéckédou, Macenta, Kissidougou, Dabola, Djingaraye, Télimélé, Boffa, Kouroussa, Dubreka, Fria, Siguiri, Pita, Nzerekore, and Yamou; several are no longer active areas of EVD transmission (see map).
Liberia
  • The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Liberia and WHO have reported 1082 suspect and confirmed EVD cases, including 269 laboratory-confirmed, and 624 deaths.
Nigeria
  • The Nigerian Ministry of Health and WHO reported 16 suspect and confirmed cases, including 12 laboratory-confirmed, and 5 deaths.
Sierra Leone
  • The Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone and WHO reported a cumulative total of 910 suspect and confirmed cases, including 804 laboratory-confirmed cases, and 392 deaths.
  • Cases have been reported from all 12 Sierra Leone districts.
About the virus
  • Genetic analysis of the virus indicates that it is closely related (97% identical) to variants of Ebola virus (species Zaire ebolavirus) identified earlier in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Gabon (Baize et al. 2014).

See the full outbreak update below »

If you or anyone you know will be traveling to Africa please make sure to visit the CDC.gov's website regarding information to protect yourself and learn more about the virus such as, signs and symptoms, treatment, etc. 

To learn more about Ebola click here: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/index.html