Ebola Virus and Hemorrhagic Fever: Andromeda Strain or Localized Pathogen?

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The nearly simultaneous occurrence of major epidemics of acute hemorrhagic fever with high mortality in Sudan (1) and Zaire (2) during late 1976 serves as a poignant reminder that infectious “plagues” have not been, nor are they likely soon to be, eliminated from our world. The causative agent of these epidemics was found to be a virus new to science and was named Ebola after a small river near Yambuku, Zaire, a disease epicenter where the initial isolate was made (3–5).

Ebola virus is a morphologic relative of Marburg virus, a peculiar rodshaped agent that somehow infected a group of

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