Even in West Africa, where an Ebola outbreak is currently raging, the much-feared virus is relatively rare. But since the first documented human outbreak in 1976, Ebola has re-emerged more than a dozen times.
Here’s a new graphic from Reuters that shows every documented Ebola case and death in history, with numbers current as of July 31:
The fatality rate in the current outbreak is 55%, though that number is expected to rise as more people succumb to the disease. Still, the 2003 outbreak in the Congo, with a 90% fatality rate, killed a significantly higher proportion of those infected.
For a more detailed breakdown of historical outbreaks, here’s the WHO data Reuters used to create that chart. This shows every known Ebola case prior to the current outbreak:
The 2014 outbreak is the largest in history, and more cases and deaths have been reported since Reuters’s graphic was created. Here’s the latest report, from the World Health Organisation’s regional office. It shows a total of 1,603 cases (suspected and confirmed) and 887 deaths:
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