Ebola Virus Disease is a serious infectious disease spread between humans from person to person. Infection is transmitted by direct or indirect contact with the blood, body fluids or secretions (stool, urine, saliva, semen) of infected people, but only when they show symptoms. Ebola cannot be transmitted by air. The disease usually has a high mortality rate but in the current Ebola outbreak the rate ranges between 55% and 60%.
Ebola first appeared in 1976 in a village near the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo (former Zaire). Since its detection, several Ebola outbreaks have occurred in different parts of Africa.