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International Journal of Microbiology
Volume 2015, Article ID 769121, 12 pages
Review Article

Ebola Virus Disease 2013-2014 Outbreak in West Africa: An Analysis of the Epidemic Spread and Response

1Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Via del Politecnico 1, 00173 Rome, Italy
2International Master Courses in Protection against CBRNe Events, Department of Industrial Engineering and School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Via del Politecnico 1, 00173 Rome, Italy
3Department of Science, University of Rome 3, Viale Marconi 446, 00154 Rome, Italy
4Department of Biomedicine & Prevention, School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Via Montpellier 1, 00173 Rome, Italy

Received 7 December 2014; Accepted 16 February 2015

Academic Editor: Ayato Takada

Copyright © 2015 Orlando Cenciarelli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Ebola virus epidemic burst in West Africa in late 2013, started in Guinea, reached in a few months an alarming diffusion, actually involving several countries (Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Senegal, and Mali). Guinea and Liberia, the first nations affected by the outbreak, have put in place measures to contain the spread, supported by international organizations; then they were followed by the other nations affected. In the present EVD outbreak, the geographical spread of the virus has followed a new route: the achievement of large urban areas at an early stage of the epidemic has led to an unprecedented diffusion, featuring the largest outbreak of EVD of all time. This has caused significant concerns all over the world: the potential reaching of far countries from endemic areas, mainly through fast transports, induced several countries to issue information documents and health supervision for individuals going to or coming from the areas at risk. In this paper the geographical spread of the epidemic was analyzed, assessing the sequential appearance of cases by geographic area, considering the increase in cases and mortality according to affected nations. The measures implemented by each government and international organizations to contain the outbreak, and their effectiveness, were also evaluated.