Ebola Virus Disease

Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans. Ebola virus disease is caused by four different strains of Ebola virus; these viruses infect humans and nonhuman primates. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. The virus family Filoviridae includes three genera: Cueva virusMarburg virus, and Ebola virus. Within the genus Ebola virus, five species have been identified: ZaireBundibugyo, Sudan, Reston and Taï Forest. The first three, Bundibugyo ebola virusZaire ebola virus, and Sudan ebola virus have been associated with large outbreaks in Africa. The virus causing the 2014–2016 West African outbreak belongs to the Zaire ebola virus species.

Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest. Ebola then spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids