The Timeline of the Worst Ebola Outbreak Ever

Ebola
Some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus virion is revealed in this undated handout colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) obtained by Reuters August 1, 2014. Cynthia Goldsmith/CDC/Reuters

Updated | Global health authorities are struggling to contain the world's worst Ebola epidemic since the disease was identified in 1976. The virus has killed nearly 4,500 people.

Here is a timeline of the outbreak:

March 22: Guinea confirms a previously unidentified hemorrhagic fever, which killed over 50 people is Ebola. 

March 30: Liberia reports two Ebola cases; suspected cases reported in Sierra Leone.

April 1: Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) warns the epidemic's spread is "unprecedented." But a World Health Organization (WHO) spokesman calls it "relatively small still."

April 4: A mob attacks an Ebola treatment center in southeastern Guinea. Healthcare workers in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia face growing hostility from fearful, suspicious local people.

May 26: WHO confirms first Ebola deaths in Sierra Leone.

June 17: Liberia says Ebola has reached its capital, Monrovia.

June 23: With deaths above 350, making the West African outbreak the worst Ebola epidemic on record, MSF says it is "out of control" and calls for massive resources.

July 25: Nigeria confirms its first Ebola case, a man who died in Lagos after traveling from Monrovia.

July 29: Dr. Sheik Umar Khan, who was leading Sierra Leone's fight against the epidemic, dies of Ebola.

July 30: Liberia shuts schools and quarantines the worst-affected communities, using troops for enforcement.

Aug. 2: A U.S. missionary physician infected with Ebola in Liberia is flown to Atlanta in the United States for treatment.

Aug. 5: A second U.S. missionary infected with Ebola is flown from Liberia to Atlanta for treatment.

Aug. 8: WHO declares Ebola "international public health emergency."

Aug. 12: WHO says death toll has topped 1,000, approves use of unproven drugs or vaccines. A Spanish priest with Ebola dies in a Madrid hospital.

Aug. 15: MSF says the epidemic will take about six months to control.

Aug. 20: Security forces in Monrovia fire shots, tear gas to disperse crowd trying to break out of quarantine, killing a teenager.

Aug. 21: The two U.S. missionary aid workers treated in Atlanta are released from the hospital free of the virus.

Aug. 24: Democratic Republic of Congo declares Ebola outbreak, believed separate from larger epidemic. An infected British medical worker is flown home from Sierra Leone for treatment.

Aug. 28: WHO puts death toll at above 1,550, warns outbreak could infect more than 20,000.

Aug. 29: Senegal reports first confirmed Ebola case.

Sept 2: MSF president U.N. members the world is "losing the battle" to contain Ebola, slams "global inaction"

Sept. 3: Epidemic accelerates; deaths top 1,900. Officials say there were close to 400 deaths in the past week. A third U.S. missionary doctor infected with Ebola is flown from Liberia for treatment in Omaha, Nebraska.

Sept. 5: Latest WHO tally: More than 2,100 dead out of about 4,000 people thought to have been infected.

Sept. 7: President Barack Obama says in an interview the United States needs to do more to help control Ebola to prevent it from becoming a global crisis.

Sept. 8: Britain says it will send military and humanitarian experts to Sierra Leone to set up a treatment center; United States says it will send 25-bed military field hospital to Liberia to care for health workers.

A fourth Ebola patient will be flown to the United States for treatment in Atlanta.

Sept. 9: New WHO tally: At least 2,296 dead out of 4,293 cases recorded in five countries.

Sept. 13: Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf appeals to Obama for urgent aid in tackling Ebola.

Sept. 16: The United States promises to send 3,000 military engineers and medical personnel to West Africa to build clinics and train healthcare workers.

Sept. 17: MSF says French nurse volunteer in Liberia has Ebola.

Sept. 18: WHO says 2,630 dead out of 5,357 thought infected. United Nations special mission to combat Ebola will deploy staff in LiberiaGuineaSierra LeoneSecurity Council adopts resolution calling for lifting travel, border restrictions. French President Francois Hollande says military hospital will be set up in Guinea.

Sept. 19 - Streets in Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, are deserted under three-day lockdown to try to halt Ebola's spread.

Sept. 20 - Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan flies from Liberia to Dallas via Brussels and Washington after trying to help woman with Ebola in his home country.

Sept. 22 - WHO declares outbreak largely contained in Senegal and Nigeria but says Ebola has killed more than 2,811 people in West Africa.

Sept. 23 - U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates between 550,000 and 1.4 million people in West Africa may have Ebola by January.

Sept. 25 - Duncan goes to Dallas hospital with fever, abdominal pain. He is sent back to apartment where he is staying despite telling a nurse he traveled from West Africa.

Sept. 26 - New WHO tally: 3,091 dead out of 6,574 probable, suspected and confirmed cases. Cuba says will send nearly 300 doctors and nurses to West Africa to join 165 healthcare workers due there early October.

Sept. 28 - Duncan returns by ambulance to Dallas hospital.

Sept. 30 - CDC confirms Duncan has Ebola; first case diagnosed in the United States.

Oct. 1 - WHO says 3,338 dead out of 7,178 cases in West Africa.

Oct. 2 - Britain pleads for international help to fight epidemic at conference in London. NBC News says American freelance cameraman in its employ, Ashoka Mukpo, has Ebola; will be flown to United States for treatment.

Oct. 3 - WHO says 3,439 dead out of 7,492 suspected, probable and confirmed cases in West Africa and theUnited States, which has one. Ugandan doctor with Ebola arrives in Frankfurt from Sierra Leone for treatment.

Oct. 4 - Volunteer nurse in Liberia who was first French national to contract Ebola leaves hospital outside Parisafter being successfully treated for the disease.

Oct. 6 - Spanish nurse is infected with Ebola; she treated infected Spanish priest who was repatriated to Madrid and died. Cameraman Mukpo in Omaha; taken to Nebraska Medical Center.

Oct. 8 - Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, dies in Dallas hospitalU.S. government orders five major airports to screen passengers from West Africa for fever.

Oct. 9 - WHO revises Ebola death toll to 3,865 out of 8,033 cases, says there is no evidence epidemic is being brought under control in West Africa. Britain to screen passengers entering country through London's two main airports and Eurostar rail link with Europe. Some lawmakers call for United States to ban travelers from the West African countries hit hardest by Ebola.

Oct. 10 - WHO raises death toll to 4,033 out of 8,399 cases in seven countries. Most fatalities are in LiberiaSierra Leone and Guinea.

Oct. 11 - Medical teams at New York's John F. Kennedy International airport begin screening travelers from three West African countries for Ebola symptoms.

Oct. 12 - Nurse in Dallas tests positive for Ebola, becoming first person to contract the virus in the United StatesNina Pham was infected while caring for Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

Oct. 14- At Heathrow, London's busiest airport, Britain begins screening travelers from West Africa. Sudanese U.N. medical official who contracted Ebola in Liberia dies in German hospital.

Oct. 15 - Officials say second Texas nurse who treated Duncan has contracted Ebola. Amber Vinson will be treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Authorities say Vinson took flight from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport while running slight fever. WHO raises death toll to 4,493 people out of 8,997 cases; says epidemic still spreading in West Africa.

Oct. 16 - U.S. congressional subcommittee sharply questions health officials about response to Ebola in United States. U.S. National Institutes of Health says nurse Pham will be moved from Dallas to an NIH isolation unit in BethesdaMaryland.

Oct. 17 - WHO raises death toll to 4,546 people out of 9,191 cases. Senegal declared free of Ebola. U.S. President Barack Obama appoints Ebola response coordinator.

Oct. 19 - Nigeria declared free of Ebola. Spanish nurse appears to be free of Ebola.

Oct. 20 - In Texas, 43 people taken off Ebola watch lists. United States issues stricter guidelines for health workers treating Ebola victims. No skin or hair exposed.

Oct. 21 - Medicins Sans Frontieres says it will start trials of experimental Ebola drugs at its treatment centres in West Africa next month. Cuba sends 53 doctors and nurses to Liberia and another 38 to Guinea on a mission to treat Ebola patients, the second group of volunteers from that country. U.S. announces that starting Oct. 22 all travellers to the United States from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea must fly into one of five designated airports for enhanced screening.

Oct. 22 - United States says will monitor for 21 days anyone entering the country from the three nations at the centre of the epidemic. NBC freelance cameraman, Ashoka Mukpo, is declared free of the virus and leaves hospital in Nebraska.

Oct. 23 - New York City doctor Craig Spencer who treated patients in Guinea tests positive for Ebola. Mali becomes sixth West African nation hit by Ebola.

Oct. 24 - Dallas nurse Nina Pham is free of Ebola and leaves the hospital. New York and New Jersey order the quarantine of all medical workers returning from Ebola-hit West African countries, including a nurse, Kaci Hickox, who tests negative and is not released until two days later.

Oct. 25 - WHO raises death toll to 4,922 people out of 10,141 cases. Illinois orders the quarantine of all high-risk travellers returning from Ebola-hit West African countries.

Oct. 26 - Florida will monitor for 21 days people returning from Ebola-hit countries and quarantine "high-risk" individuals.

Oct. 27 - U.S. Army begins isolating personnel returning from Ebola missions in West Africa. Australia becomes the first developed country to shut its borders to the areas hardest hit by Ebola. Bans visas for citizens of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

Oct. 28 - Dallas nurse Amber Vinson is free of Ebola and leaves Emory University Hospital.

Oct. 29 - Ebola appears to be slowing in Liberia, WHO says. Quarantine-like monitoring expanded to all U.S. military personnel returning from Ebola relief efforts in West Africa. California enacts 21-day quarantine of travellers who had contact with Ebola patients but policy more flexible than rules in New York, New Jersey and Maine.

Oct. 31 - Canada stops issuing visas to people from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

Nov. 3 - Mali is believed to be free of Ebola but health officials are still searching for 39 people who travelled on buses with a toddler who died from the virus. Maine and nurse Kaci Hickox reach a settlement allowing her to travel freely in public and not be quarantined at home after treating victims of Ebola in West Africa.

Nov. 4 - Asian countries are not contributing enough to the global effort to fight Ebola, World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim said.

Nov. 5: WHO revises deaths downward for second week running, puts toll at 4,818 out of 13,042 cases as of Nov. 2. Says still seeing slowdown in weekly cases in Liberia, Guinea is stable, incidence of Ebola still rising in Sierra Leone.

President Obama will ask Congress for $6.2 billion in new funds in U.S. fiscal year to fight Ebola in West Africa and the United States, according to officials familiar with request.

China plans to send some 1,000 medical workers and experts to West Africa, state-run Xinhua news agency reports. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says his country will fund a treatment clinic in Sierra Leone, responding to pressure from the United States and others to do more.

Join the Discussion