The Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976 in northern Zaire, near a river that gave it its name. The epidemic had then killed 280 people before disappearing.
It seems that certain bats are healthy carriers of the disease and can contaminate certain species of monkeys as well as men. Transmission can also occur from human to human through blood, breast milk, feces and vomit, and possibly through the saliva of a patient at a more advanced stage. It would appear that the virus cannot be transmitted via airborne particles.
Ebola’s fatality rate is around 20%; however, it can rise to 90% when the patient can not be properly rehydrated and transfused, which is generally the case in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Hence the role played by large NGOs such as Doctors Without Borders or states such as Cuba.
In the 80s, the apartheid regime of South Africa called on Dr. Wouter Basson to carry out an investigation on a range of pathogenic agents that could be modified so as to selectively kill subjects with black skin (Project Coast). This research included the Ebola virus.
In 1988, Zimbabwe Health Minister Dr Timothy Stamps accused South Africa of having tested the Ebola and Marburg viruses along the Zambezi River, as part of its biological warfare.
In 1992, Shoko Asahara, the leader of the Aum Shinrikyō sect, went to Zaire to collect samples of the Ebola virus.
The Ebola pathogens developed by Basson were allegedly destroyed by him in 1994, albeit without any verification thereof.
The test recommended by the World Health Organization to determine if a patient is infected by the Ebola virus does not detect whether the virus is actually in the blood, but only if the symptoms correspond to those caused by the virus. It is therefore common for patients to be diagnosed with Ebola even though they are not affected by the disease. Conversely, all those who have come down with Ebola, test positive for the virus.
Since 1976, around thirty Ebola epidemics have been reported in Africa. Until this year, none had been as virulent as the outbreak in 1976 (280 victims). However, the current epidemic in West Africa has claimed the lives of nearly 5,000 people in ten months, which is negligible compared to other diseases, but which is likely to give rise to a pandemic.
In September 2014, the United States decided to provide massive aid to West Africa against the disease 
On 14 October 2014, at the end of a video conference, Barack Obama, François Hollande, Angela Merkel and David Cameron Matteo Renzi qualified Ebola the "most serious health emergency in recent years."
To date, the United States has launched a website "Fight Ebola, the great challenge." Under the pretext to deploy sanitary materials, they transferred more than 4,000 AFRICOM soldiers to West Africa, which undoubtedly serves their political and economic interests, but will do little to hold back the progression of the disease . Meanwhile, Cuba has sent more than 500 care workers, representing, by far, the largest state effort to come in aid of the affected population.