Ebola virus disease (EVD) emerged at unprecedented epidemic levels in 2014. Whereas previous outbreaks had occurred in remote areas and were contained fairly quickly, this epidemic spread to crowded urban areas where long transmission chains occurred.
The center of the epidemic occurred in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. Nigeria and Senegal saw small outbreaks related to importations from more heavily affected countries, but they were able to contain spread of the disease. Several cases and deaths were reported from Mali in October and November 2014. In total, 15,261 confirmed, probable, and suspected deaths occurred, including two in the United States. More than 28,000 cases of EVD were reported.
Several healthcare workers acquired Ebola virus disease outside West Africa from contact with imported cases. Two U.S. nurses and one Spanish nurse became ill. All three recovered.
Ebola virus disease has no cure, but supportive care in a hospital setting can increase a patient's chance for survival. Additionally, plasma transfusions from convalescent patients and an experimental antibody preparation have been used to treat certain patients.
Several vaccines were advanced rapidly into clinical trials in both African and non-African countries.