A hemorrhagic fever caused by a Filovirus.The disease is transmitted via bodily fluids and often proves fatal. Survival varies to some extent by medical care received and how soon care is received after infection. The first recorded outbreak of Ebola was in central Africa; the current major outbreak is in western Africa. The disease is thought to be transmitted by contact with fruit bats. Treatments and vaccines are currently in development.
"The Ebola virus. No one knows exactly where it comes from, but one thing is certain—it's one of the most virulent infections known to science. This special episode of Horizon meets the scientists and doctors from all around the world looking for the cure and hears first-hand accounts of what it's actually like to catch—and survive—this terrible disease." BBC video hosted on Films on Demand. [Good information in this piece, but beware the overwrought music and graphics in the first half. -- Diane Westerfield]