This colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) reveals details of the Ebola virus.

Photograph by Frederick Murphy, courtesy the Centers for Disease Control
  • On May 9, 1995, the city of Kinshasa was placed under quarantine after an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus. Kinshasa was the capital of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), and the quarantine was enacted by the Zairean government. Thousands of people tried to leave this “hot spot” and were met by military roadblocks. The government also declared quarantine for the city of Kikwit, where the virus had been detected two months earlier.
     
    Ebola is an infectious disease usually characterized by fever and flu-like symptoms. After these initial symptoms, there is often diarrhea, vomiting, rashes, and heavy bleeding. Ebola is usually transmitted by contact with an infected person, corpse, or contaminated material. There is no known source for this deadly virus, and there is no official treatment or vaccine.
     
    Outbreaks of Ebola have been found in gorillas, chimpanzees, pigs, and humans. In humans, the virus causes death in 50 to 90 percent of the cases. The outbreak in Kikwit had a 77% fatality rate.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    capital Noun

    city where a region's government is located.

    Encyclopedic Entry: capital
    city Noun

    large settlement with a high population density.

    corpse Noun

    dead body.

    fatality Noun

    a death.

    government Noun

    system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.

    initial Adjective

    first.

    military Noun

    armed forces.

    outbreak Noun

    sudden occurrence or rapid increase.

    virus Noun

    pathogenic agent that lives and multiplies in a living cell.