By Edward K. Chapnick

Ebolavirus (EBOV) is one of three known viruses within the family Filoviridae. EBOV has five different species, and four of the five cause a severe and often fatal hemorrhagic fever in humans and other mammals, known as Ebola virus disease (EVD).

The five different species/strains of the Ebola virus are

  • Zaire (the 2014 outbreak is this strain)

  • Bundibugyo

  • Sudan

  • Reston

  • Tai Forest

The first three have been associated with large outbreaks in Africa. The Zaire and Sudan strains are the most common and most deadly for humans. The Bundibugyo and Tai Forest strains have been seen only a few times.

The identification of the Reston subtype of Ebola is also of interest. Scientists identified it in dying monkeys imported to a research facility from the Philippines. Although some exposed humans were found to have antibodies, indicating that they had become infected, none became sick.