Ebola: overview, history, origins and transmission

The history of Ebola virus disease, animal reservoirs, routes of transmission and an overview of diagnosis and management.



Ebola virus emerged in 1976 in almost simultaneous outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Sudan (now South Sudan). Since then outbreaks have occurred in both Central and West Africa.

See information about current Ebola outbreaks.

Published 15 April 2014
Last updated 15 December 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updated table of outbreaks.
  2. Updated to reflect the current situation.
  3. Updated with information about West Africa outbreak.
  4. The map showing Ebola cases in Africa has been updated to the end of 2014.
  5. Updated information about transmission and incubation period.
  6. Updated account of historic outbreaks.
  7. First published.