12 Ebola Questions You’re Wondering About

Arm yourself with these simple answers.


In case you’ve missed it, the deadliest Ebola outbreak is spreading in Western Africa, taking at least 900 lives so far. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is sending 50 infectious disease specialists to the region in order to help quell the outbreak and provide much-needed resources and expertise. As the outbreak worsens, confusion—and panic—has grown.

To sort fact from doomsday fiction, we consulted current and former CDC members and infectious disease experts including Dr. Ron Behrens, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and Amesh Adalija an infectious disease physician at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Here are answers to common burning questions. Visit time.com/ebola for ongoing coverage of Ebola.

Where does the name “Ebola” come from?

The virus is named after the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. That’s where the virus was discovered in…

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