Ebola (Ebola virus disease)
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Up-to-Date Info: To find the latest CDC information on this topic go to: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/index.html

Ebola (Ebola virus disease)

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    • Description:
      Ebola, previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus species. Ebola can cause disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).

      Ebola is caused by a virus of the family Filoviridae, genus Ebolavirus. There are five identified Ebola virus species. 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.

      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.

      The natural reservoir host of Ebola viruses remains unknown. However, on the basis of evidence and the nature of similar viruses, researchers believe that the virus is animal-borne and that bats are the most likely reservoir. Four of the five subtypes occur in an animal host native to Africa.

      ebola-factsheet.pdf

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