How does 2014’s disastrous outbreak of Ebola compare with past epidemics?
First discovered 38 years ago, the first epidemic occurred in South Sudan when 284 people were infected with 151 dying. The second major outbreak didn’t occur until the mid-1990s when 250 people died in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Further outbreaks happened in 2000, 2003 and 2007, killing hundreds. However, all previous epidemics pale in comparison with 2014. The death toll in West Africa is approaching 5,000 with Liberia experiencing the highest number of deaths – 2,458. Sierra Leone comes second with 1,183 while 843 people have died in Guinea. Nigeria has experienced 8 deaths but has largely contained the virus. After six weeks with no new cases, it is set to be declared Ebola free by the World Health Organization.
This chart shows deaths from the Ebola virus in Africa from 1976 to 2014.
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