The Spread of Ebola Outbreaks (1976-2015)




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This documentary, in the form of a Google Map, tracks the history of the deadly Ebola Virus that spread throughout central Africa between 1976 and 2015 and made headline news around the world. The Center for Disease Control describes Ebola as, "Ebola hemorragic fever (Ebola HF) is a severe, often-fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees) that has appeared sporadically since its initial recognition in 1976.

Click here to speed up viewing this map, it will take you to the original Google Map, compete with legend.

The disease is caused by infection with Ebola virus, named after a river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) in Africa, where it was first recognized. The virus is one of two members of a family of RNA viruses call the Filoviridae. There are five identified subtypes of Ebola virus. Four of the five have caused disease in humans. The fifth, Ebola-Reston, has caused disease in nonprimates, but not in humans."

According to The Full Wiki, "The Ebola virus is believed to be transmitted to humans via contact with an infected animal host. The virus is then transmitted to other people that come into contact with blood and bodily fluids of the infected person, and by human contact with contaminated medical equipment such as needles. Both of these infectious mechanisms will occur in clinical (nosocomial) and non-clinical situations. Due to the high fatality rate, the rapidity of demise, and the often remote areas where infections occur, plus poor hygiene in the area, the potential for widespread epidemic outbreaks is considered low."

Wikipedia Commons
The cause if the disease is described on Wikipedia as, "Bats were known to reside in the cotton factory in which the index cases for the 1976 and 1979 outbreaks were employed, and they have also been implicated in Marburg virus infections in 1976 and 1980." Wikipedia goes on to state, that there are three types of fruit bats that have been identified as being in contact with EBOV, along with small rodents, insectivorous bats, shrews, tenrecs, and marsupials that have a history of infection with filoviruses.

The locations in this map are provided by Wikipedia's page on the Ebola virus disease. To help you understand the impact of the disease and how it evolved, I color-coded the map by the five different classifications of the disease. If you track the dates in the legend you will notice two places where the disease has a trend of repeating itself over and over. On the other hand, there is another a trend, if extended in the direction of travel, shows to different types of the disease, from two different locations, are headed towards the same destination from two different directions.



Range of the Hammer-headed Bat
(Hypsignathus monstrousus)

Wikipedia Commons
Range of the Peter's dwarf epaquletted fruit bat.
Wikipedia Commons
Range of the Egyptian Rousette Fruit Bats.
Wikipedia Commons

Other disease-oriented Google Maps:

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