Ebola Cases 1976-2016
According to the WHO,”the Ebola virus causes an acute, serious illness which is often fatal if untreated. Ebola virus disease (EVD) first appeared in 1976 in 2 simultaneous outbreaks, one in what is now, Nzara, South Sudan, and the other in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. The latter occurred in a village near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name.
The 2014–2016 outbreak in West Africa was the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak since the virus was first discovered in 1976. There were more cases and deaths in this outbreak than all others combined. It also spread between countries, starting in Guinea then moving across land borders to Sierra Leone and Liberia.
The virus family Filoviridae includes three genera: Cuevavirus, Marburgvirus, and Ebolavirus. Within the genus Ebolavirus, five species have been identified: Zaire, Bundibugyo, Sudan, Reston and Taï Forest. The first three, Bundibugyo ebolavirus, Zaire ebolavirus, and Sudan ebolavirus have been associated with large outbreaks in Africa. The virus causing the 2014–2016 West African outbreak belongs to the Zaire ebolavirus species.” (WHO fact sheets
The 2014-2016 outbreak was not only unusual in its absolute numbers of cases and deaths, but also in its geographical patterns: While it before mainly occurred in the tropical regions of Sub-Saharan Africa (affecting mainly Congo, DR Congo, Gabon, Sudan and Uganda), the 2014-2016 and by far largest outbreak is observed in the previously unaffected countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and – less severe – Nigeria). This map shows that Ebola is restricted to Africa, and there only to a very small part of the continent. Most cases reported in countries outside of Africa (USA, UK, Italy, Spain and Australia) did not result in the death of the patient; only one patient in the USA died.