Ebola: timeline of a ruthless killer


From Guinea's forests to Madrid, here are key dates in the Ebola epidemic, the worst to date with more than 3,400 deaths, as the infection spreads outside of Africa.

-- MARCH 2014 --

- 24: Officials from Guinea's health ministry and the WHO say that from January to March 23 the country has recorded 87 suspected cases of viral haemorrhagic fever, including 61 deaths.

Scientists studying samples in the French city of Lyon confirm it is Ebola.

-- MAY --

- 26: Sierra Leone confirms its first case.

-- JULY --

- 25: The virus spreads to Nigeria, as a Liberian-American dies in quarantine in Lagos. The country places its ports and airports on alert.

- 30: Ebola is "out of control" according to the aid group Doctors without Borders (MSF). Liberia closes its schools after shutting some border crossing points.

-- AUGUST --

- 5: The World Bank earmarks up to $200 million (150 million euros) to help contain Ebola.

- 8: The WHO declares the Ebola epidemic a "public health emergency of international concern".

- 12: The WHO authorises the use of experimental drugs in the fight against Ebola, after an ethical debate.

A Spanish missionary contaminated in Liberia dies in Madrid, the first European fatality.

- 18-27: Several countries close their borders with the affected countries.


- 2: MSF says the world is "losing the battle" to contain Ebola.

Labour shortages and disrupted cross-border trade caused by the Ebola outbreak have sparked "grave food security concerns", the UN says.

- 5: The WHO voices hope that a vaccine could be available in November.

9: Ebola is threatening the very existence of Liberia as the killer virus spreads like "wild fire", the defence minister warns.

The United States brings to more than $100 million the funds that it has spent trying to fight the outbreak.

10: Senegal says a Guinean student who was its only confirmed case has recovered.

16: The UN says nearly one billion dollars would be needed to stem the disease. The US announces a plan to send 3,000 military personnel to Africa, a figure that rises to 4,000 on October 3.

17: The European Union pledges 78 million euros on top of 150 million already earmarked for the effort.

18: The UN Security Council declares the Ebola outbreak "a threat to international peace and security."

19: Sierra Leone launches a three-day shutdown to contain the virus. Six days later it places three regions and 1.2 million people under quarantine.

In Guinea, eight members of a group sent to alert the population are found dead, killed by villagers.

An MSF nurse is repatriated to France, and is declared healed on October 4.

30: In the US, a Liberian is hospitalised in Texas, the first Ebola infection diagnosed outside Africa.


01: A separate epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo kills 42 people.

02: Liberia says that all of its regions have been infected.

03: An NBC cameraman is infected in Liberia, the sixth US national to be contaminated. Almost all are treated in the US.

A Ugandan doctor infected in Sierra Leone becomes the second person treated in Germany, where a Senegalese expert is declared healed on October 4.

06: First infection outside Africa, of a Spanish nurse in a Madrid hospital. A priest died in the hospital in August and another missionary died there on September 25.

A Norwegian doctor working for MSF is repatriated after becoming infected in Sierra Leone.

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