An outbreak of Ebola, which likely began in a rural area of Guinea in December 2013, has spread to other countries in West Africa. The outbreak is contained in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Cases have occurred in Senegal, Nigeria, Mali, Spain and the US. Over ten thousand suspected and confirmed cases of Ebola have been reported and many thousands have died.
Disease control in West Africa has been difficult due to lack of healthcare resources, poor living conditions, misinformation, local traditions that increase disease transmission, and people who do not seek medical care due to distrust.
Scientists believe the source of the virus is most likely bats, and other animals can also become infected. An outbreak in humans begins when an individual or small group of people become infected by eating or handling uncooked or undercooked meat from infected game animals, such as bats and monkeys, also known as "bushmeat."