Ebola Factsheet 2014-10-06
Ebola Health and Monitoring Factsheet
Get the facts about Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
Definition: Ebola virus disease (EVD), previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains. Ebola can cause disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees). The natural reservoir host of Ebola virus 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. 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.
Because the natural reservoir host of Ebola viruses has not yet been identified, the manner in which the virus first appears in a human at the start of an outbreak is unknown. However, researchers believe that the first patient becomes infected through contact with an infected animal. Ebola is not spread through the air or by water, or in general, food. You are not at risk for Ebola infection unless you are in direct contact with bodily fluids of someone with Ebola while they have viral symptoms such as fever, vomiting, and cough.