An Outbreak of Hemorrhagic Fever in Africa ("Ebola")

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David Heyman and Wayne Brown
Date published
Dec, 2010
Last updated
21 Jan 2020


Investigation of the first recognized outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 1976; a practical outbreak investigation.


  • List the criteria for deciding whether a field investigation is warranted
  • Describe the key tasks involved in investigating an epidemic of unknown cause, and, given a real outbreak, perform each step
  • Describe the components of a case definition, and develop a case definition for a new disease
  • Given the appropriate data, perform descriptive epidemiology and explain the importance of this step