Chronology of Ebola virus disease outbreaks 1976-2018

The largest outbreak of Ebola virus since 1976 occurred in Sierra Leone between 2014 and 2016. The outbreak resulted in 14,124 cases and 3,956 deaths. The outbreak that affected Sierra Leone started in Guinea and spread rapidly to surrounding countries.

Ebola Virus Disease

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is a viral pathogen that causes fever, headaches, severe abdominal pain and, in some cases, haemorrhaging. It is transmitted from human-to-human through contact with infected body fluids, infected objects or semen from a recovered EVD patient. Ebola infection has several stages, including incubation, illness and infectiousness. It is estimated that the mean time from Ebola exposure to the onset of symptoms is approximately seven days. Of the five types of Ebola, Zaire ebolavirus has been shown to be the deadliest.

2014-2016 Ebola Outbreak

The West African Ebola outbreak of 2014-2016 was the largest outbreak in history. As of 2016, it was estimated that Sierra Leone had the most Ebola-associated deaths, followed by Guinea. The outbreak began in Guinea in January 2014. However, it progressed rapidly and by March 30, 2016 Liberia had experienced over 10 thousand cases. Throughout the 2014-2016 epidemic, health care workers were disproportionately affected by the disease. By November 4, 2015, there were almost 900 cases of Ebola virus disease among health care workers.

Number of cases and deaths from Ebola virus outbreaks between 1976 and 2018, by country

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Release date

February 2020



Survey time period

1976 to 2018

Supplementary notes

* Include Suspect, Probable and Confirmed EVD cases.

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Statistics on "Ebola outbreak in West Africa"

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