Key Facts: Ebola Virus

Ebola VirusThe Ebola Virus (EV) can cause Ebola Virus Disease.

Ebola Virus Disease can be fatal.

Outbreaks of Ebola Virus Disease have had a fatality rate between 20-90%

These outbreaks occur mainly in remote areas near rainforests in West and Central Africa.

Fruit bats (Pteropodidae) are believed to be a natural host of the EV

Transmission of EV can occur via animal-to-human and human-to-human contact.

There in no known cure or vaccine, ill patients require intensive care.

Infected individuals must be isolated to prevent further spread of EV.

Ebola was named after the Ebola River. It was in a village near the Ebola River in Congo where in 1976 an outbreak was assigned first to the Ebola virus according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Ebolavirus genus is 1 of 3 members of the Filoviridae family (filovirus), along with the related genus Marburgvirus and genus Cuevavirus. Genus Ebolavirus comprises 5 distinct species (see table below)


Family Filoviridae: genera, species, and viruses
Genus name Species name Virus name (Abbreviation)
Cuevavirus Lloviu cuevavirus Lloviu virus (LLOV)
Ebolavirus Bundibugyo ebolavirus Bundibugyo virus (BDBV)
Reston ebolavirus Reston virus (RESTV)
Sudan ebolavirus Sudan virus (SUDV)
Taï Forest ebolavirus Taï Forest virus (TAFV)
Zaire ebolavirus Ebola virus (EBOV)
Marburgvirus Marburg marburgvirus Marburg virus (MARV)
Ravn virus (RAVV)

 Source: wikipedia


Only BDBV, EBOV, and SUDV have been associated with large EVD outbreaks in Africa.

Ebola is extremely infectious; a very small amount can cause disease. Laboratory experiments on nonhuman primates have shown that a single virus may even be enough to cause a fatal Ebola infection.

Ebola is considered moderately contagious. It does not transmit through water food or air. Viral diseases that are considered more contagious are for example measles and influenza (both are airborne).