Ebola viral disease outbreak--West Africa, 2014

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014 Jun 27;63(25):548-51.


On March 21, 2014, the Guinea Ministry of Health reported the outbreak of an illness characterized by fever, severe diarrhea, vomiting, and a high case-fatality rate (59%) among 49 persons. Specimens from 15 of 20 persons tested at Institut Pasteur in Lyon, France, were positive for an Ebola virus by polymerase chain reaction. Viral sequencing identified Ebola virus (species Zaïre ebolavirus), one of five viruses in the genus Ebolavirus, as the cause. Cases of Ebola viral disease (EVD) were initially reported in three southeastern districts (Gueckedou, Macenta, and Kissidougou) of Guinea and in the capital city of Conakry. By March 30, cases had been reported in Foya district in neighboring Liberia (1), and in May, the first cases identified in Sierra Leone were reported. As of June 18, the outbreak was the largest EVD outbreak ever documented, with a combined total of 528 cases (including laboratory-confirmed, probable, and suspected cases) and 337 deaths (case-fatality rate = 64%) reported in the three countries. The largest previous outbreak occurred in Uganda during 2000-2001, when 425 cases were reported with 224 deaths (case-fatality rate = 53%). The current outbreak also represents the first outbreak of EVD in West Africa (a single case caused by Taï Forest virus was reported in Côte d'Ivoire in 1994 [3]) and marks the first time that Ebola virus transmission has been reported in a capital city.

MeSH terms

  • Africa, Western / epidemiology
  • Diarrhea / virology
  • Disease Outbreaks* / prevention & control
  • Ebolavirus / isolation & purification*
  • Fever / virology
  • Guinea / epidemiology
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / complications
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Vomiting / virology