An epidemic of Ebola hemorrhagic fever has sputtered along unabated
since October 2001 in the dense jungles that span the northern border between
Gabon and Congo, raising questions about how health officials respond to outbreaks
of the deadly infection.
Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state
that unlike "traditional" Ebola outbreaks, in which a single index case is
followed by nosocomial amplification, this epidemic involves possibly seven
or more independent infections. Well over 100 deaths have been recorded in
the area, but the true number is unknown. Information about the outbreak is
limited because of the region's remote nature, and CDC scientists say that
the agency has been too overburdened responding to outbreaks of severe acute
respiratory syndrome (SARS), West Nile virus, and monkeypox to closely monitor
Thacker PD. An Ebola Epidemic Simmers in Africa. JAMA. 2003;290(3):317–319. doi:10.1001/jama.290.3.317
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