Since Ebola was first described in 1976, there have been several outbreaks, but all have been self-limiting. In a new Journal of Internal Medicine review, Dr. Ali Mirazimi of the Karolinska Institutet considers why the latest outbreak occurred and discusses the factors that contributed to making it the largest, most sustained, and most widespread outbreak of Ebola. He also notes that several potential treatments are now undergoing clinical trials and have shown initial promising results.
"Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases will continue to challenge both human and animal health around the world," said Dr. Mirazimi. "The Ebola virus, the emergence of new diseases like the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the Arabic Peninsula, or the spread in Europe of some vector-borne infections such as those caused by the West Nile virus (WNV) are all examples.