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Abstract

The 2014 public health crisis in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone has brought Ebola Viral Disease (EVD) to everyone’s attention. Discovered in 1976, this deadly disease infrequently struck in remote areas of Africa. This article will critically review the literature and describe the pathobiology, transmission, signs and symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of EVDwhich, was predicted by the Centers for Disease Control to potentially infect 1.4 million persons in Liberia and Sierra Leone by January 2015 (“Questions and Answers”, 2014). Thankfully this worst case scenario did not occur and we may be experiencing natural burn out of the outbreak along with the results of aggressive education and supportive treatment as in Sierra Leone. There is no established treatment for EVD despite successes in non-human models. The WHO endorsed Convalescent Blood Products (“Potential for use of…,” 2014) after it showed promise in Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2014, American Ebola patients recovered after receiving Convalescent Serum Therapy (CST) with experimental therapies like Zmapp, TKM-Ebola, and Brincidofovir. We may have missed the window of opportunity to establish the efficacy of these potential therapies, which may have unprecedented implications for health status, healthcare infrastructure development in the future, and the economic viability of the sub-region for decades to come. Additionally, an endemic area will pose a threat to the rest of the world as a potential incubator/exporter of this dangerous viral illness.