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FAQ: The Deadly Ebola Virus

By Rita Rubin
WebMD Health News

Editor's note: This story was updated on Oct. 16, 2015, with two new cases in Guinea.

April 4, 2014 -- Perhaps no virus strikes as much fear in people as Ebola, the cause of a deadly outbreak in West Africa.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports more than 28,400 confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola as of Oct. 14, 2015. More than 11,200 people have died in the largest Ebola outbreak ever recorded.

The majority of cases were in the three West African nations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. After no new Ebola cases were found in the three countries for 2 weeks, the WHO on Oct. 16, 2015, reported two new cases in Guinea, Reuters says.

  Ebola Coverage on WebMD

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Ebola in the U.S.

An infected U.S. health care worker arrived March 13, 2014, at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD, for treatment, the NIH said in a statement. The person, who was not identified, caught the virus while working as a volunteer at an Ebola treatment center in Sierra Leone, the NIH said.

The health care worker, who at one point was in critical condition, was released from the clinical center on April 9, 2014, the NIH said in a statement.

No further information was released about the health care worker, who was the second American to be treated at the NIH facility. The first was Nina Pham, 26, a Dallas nurse who caught Ebola after treating Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who later died. Pham recovered from the virus.

She was one of two nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who caught Ebola after treating Duncan. The second, Amber Vinson, 29, also recovered after being treated at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital.

Duncan arrived in the U.S. on Sept. 20, 2014, to visit relatives. Ten days later, he became the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. He died Oct. 8, 2014.

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