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Research Papers on the Ebola Virus Outbreak

Research papers on the Ebola virus outbreak look at where the virus began and the countries that contain the virus.

Throughout the summer and fall of 2014, much of the world’s attention remained focused on an epidemic outbreak of the Ebola virus in Africa. The 2014 epidemic began in the nation of Guinea in December 2013, spreading to nearby Liberia and Sierra Leone. A smaller number of cases appeared in the following countries:

  • Nigeria
  • Senegala
  • Spain
  • United States

Outbreaks by Year


Ebola Virus Outbreak

The Ebola virus was first identified in 1976, but the 2014 epidemic quickly exceeded the number of victims for all other outbreaks combined by September. Researchers believe that the death of a 2-year-old boy in December 2013 in a Guinea village represents patient zero, of the index case, of the current outbreak. The boy’s mother, sister, and grandmother then became ill with the disease and died. The disease then began spreading to other villages. Previously, Ebola had not been reported in West Africa, and the virus largely went undetected until March 2014, by which time reports of Ebola were reported in both Sierra Leone and Liberia.

On 30 September 2014, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported the first case of Ebola in the United States. A man who became infected in Liberia returned home to Texas. When he first reported to the hospital, he was sent home with antibiotics before reappearing at the hospital four days later. The man later died and on 12 October 2014, it was announced that a healthcare worker at the Texas hospital contracted the Ebola virus as well.

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