Outbreak Zone

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Outbreak Zone is an unofficial and variably defined term which refers to the specific area of West Africa where the EVD (Zaire strain) 2014 Epidemic is centered. The Zone currently includes the countries of Guinea (Republic of Guinea), Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. Although the WHOhas declared that Nigeria and Senegal are now free of EVD cases [1] [2], there is ongoing potential for the disease to be reintroduced, and so those countries are still considered to be within the Outbreak Zone. In some uses, the term also includes countries which have no known EVD cases but which share a land border with nations that do have ongoing transmission of EVD, such as Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire).

West Africa Map
Creative Commons

As of 27 October 2014, the known EVD cases outside of West Africa, such as those in Europe and the U.S. are too scattered and sporadic to be considered as being within a defined zone. Should the case count increase and a local chain of transmission become established, it may be necessary to modify this definition.

To avoid confusion, it should be noted that there is also a small outbreak of EVD occurring in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Although these cases are also caused by the Zaire strain of EVD, the 2 outbreaks are unrelated [3].



  1. "WHO declares end of Ebola outbreak in Nigeria". World Health Organization Statement. 20 Oct. 2014, Web 27 Oct 2014. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2014/nigeria-ends-ebola/en/
  2. "WHO congratulates Senegal on ending Ebola transmission". World Health Organization. 17 Oct 2014. Web 27 Oct 2014 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2014/senegal-ends-ebola/en/
  3. “Ebola in Democratic Republic of the Congo”. CDC. 15 Oct 2014. Web. 27 Oct 2014 http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/ebola-in-democratic-republic-of-the-congo