Ebola Disease Outbreak Locations

At a glance

Orthoebolaviruses are a group of viruses that cause Ebola disease. They were first discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Since then, these viruses have emerged periodically from the unknown animal that carries them and infected people in several African countries. This map shows the location of outbreaks caused by these viruses in Africa since 1976.

Ebola Disease Outbreaks by Species and Size, Since 1976

Map showing where Ebola outbreaks have occurred in Africa
Ebola outbreaks have occurred throughout western and central Africa.

About the outbreaks

The Ebola virus, Sudan virus, and Bundibugyo virus are the three viruses responsible for most large outbreaks in Africa.

The Ebola virus is the deadliest and without treatment, up to 90% of cases are fatal. It caused the 2014–2016 outbreak in West Africa, the largest Ebola disease outbreak to date, with more than 28,600 cases reported. It was also associated with a 2018–2020 outbreak in the DRC, during which a small number of cases were reported across the border in Uganda. Other large outbreaks of Ebola virus have resulted in hundreds of cases in DRC and Gabon. Smaller outbreaks have also occurred in DRC, Gabon, the Republic of the Congo, and South Africa.

The Sudan virus causes death in about 50 percent of people who get sick with the disease. This virus caused several outbreaks in Uganda and near the border between South Sudan and DRC.

The Bundibugyo virus is the most recently discovered type of orthoebolavirus. It was discovered in 2007 and causes death in about 30 percent of people who contract it. It was associated with two large outbreaks, one in DRC and the other on the border of DRC and Uganda.

Taï Forest virus is a rarer cause of disease. It has only been known to infect one person, in Côte d'Ivoire in 1994.