Ebola Outbreak in context
Date: 17 Mar 2016
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Ebola was first identified in 1976 and occurs in regions of sub-Saharan Africa. There are normally fewer than 500 cases reported each year, and no cases were reported at all between 1979 and 1994.
In August 2014 the WHO confirmed a separate outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo. By the beginning of October there had been 70 cases reported and 43 deaths.
However, the outbreak in DR Congo is a different strain of the virus and unrelated to the epidemic in West Africa, which now dwarfs all previous outbreaks.