Research

Contact

Dr. Eleonora SchönherrPresse- & ÖffentlichkeitsarbeitPhone: +49 40 42818-269
Mail: presse(at)bnitm.de

Julia HäberleinPresse- & ÖffentlichkeitsarbeitPhone: +49 40 42818-264
Mail: presse(at)bnitm.de

Discovery of the Ebola Virus

Yambuku, Zaire (Today Democratic Republic of Kongo) – August 1976

End of August 1976, WHO reported on cases of haemorrhagic fever at Yambuku, near the creek of Ebola in the north of former Zaire. Electron microscopic examinations of samples from the Nzara and Yambuku outbreaks in the US-American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Antwerp University and the Microbiological Research Establishment (MRE) in Porton Down, England, showed a high morphological similarity to each other and to the virus from the Marburg cases of 1967. Staining with patients` antisera revealed that the African viruses closely resembled each other but differed from those from Marburg.

The old map shows that Nzara in southern Sudan and Yambuku in former Zaire, the sites of the first documented Ebola outbreaks, are not far apart. Inset: Naming of the Ebola virus by the Zairian Ministry of Health.
The old map shows that Nzara in southern Sudan and Yambuku in former Zaire, the sites of the first documented Ebola outbreaks, are not far apart. Inset: Naming of the Ebola virus by the Zairian Ministry of Health.

Following the Ministry of Health of Zaire, the virus from Yambuku was named after the Ebola creek.