#Ebola Virus: Timeline of an unrelenting epidemic

#Ebola Virus: Timeline of an unrelenting epidemic

Tuesday, August 5, 2014 9:22 pm

Following are the main developments since the worst-ever epidemic of the haemorrhagic fever Ebola emerged in West Africa at the start of the year, as measures to stem its spread are stepped up around the world.

According to the UN World Health Organization, the latest death toll stands at 887, out of 1,603 confirmed, suspected or probable cases.


— MARCH 2014 —

– 22: Guinea identifies the Ebola virus as the source of a highly contagious epidemic raging through its southern forests, as the death toll rises to 59.

Experts had been unable to identify the disease, whose symptoms were first observed six weeks before, but scientists studying samples in the French city of Lyon confirmed it was Ebola.

– 27: Ebola spreads to Guinea’s capital Conakry.

– 31: Liberia confirms two cases of the virus.

The deadly Ebola Virus under microscope

The deadly Ebola Virus under microscope



– 5: West African countries mobilise. Medical teams are deployed at Conakry airport.

– 8: The WHO says the Ebola outbreak is among the “most challenging” for health workers since the deadly disease first emerged four decades ago in Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

— MAY —

– 26: Sierra Leone confirms its first fatality.


— JUNE —

– 21: The WHO says the recent rapid spread of Ebola in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea has come in part because efforts to contain the deadly virus have been too relaxed.

– 23: The outbreak is now “out of control” with more than 60 outbreak hotspots across the three countries, the medical charity Doctors Without Borders says.


— JULY —

– 3: The WHO says it expects the Ebola outbreak to continue for at least “several months”.

– 25: The virus spreads to Africa’s most populous country Nigeria, as a Liberian national dies in quarantine in Lagos. The country places its ports and airports on alert.

– 27: A woman suffering from the first confirmed case of Ebola in Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, dies.

– 30: Doctors Without Borders warns there is a risk of Ebola spreading to other countries.

Liberia announces it is shutting all schools.


– 31: Sierra Leone declares a state of emergency.


– 1: At a regional summit in Conakry, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia announce a cross-border isolation zone around the epicentre of the outbreak.

– 4: Nigeria says that a doctor in Lagos who treated the Liberian victim of Ebola there has contracted the virus, the second confirmed case in sub-Saharan Africa’s largest city.

Sierra Leone’s leader Ernest Bai Koroma appeals to the country’s people to fight together against the deadly epidemic. Businesses, bars and restaurants are closed.

– 5: The World Bank earmarks up to $200 million to help contain Ebola, as African leaders visit Washington for a US-Africa summit. The Liberian and Sierra Leonean leaders decide not to travel to the summit.

An American missionary who contracted Ebola while helping patients in Liberia is expected in Atlanta, three days after a doctor colleague was brought to the United States for treatment.

A New York hospital is also testing a man with symptoms of the virus, but doctors say that it is unlikely he has Ebola.

A Saudi man is admitted to hospital in the Red Sea city of Jeddah after showing symptoms of haemorrhagic fever upon his return from Sierra Leone

A 75 year old Spanish missionary, Miguel Pajares, working in Liberia  tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus,  Spanish charity Juan Ciudad ONGD,  the aid organisation he works for said.



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