Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is a rare and deadly disease in people and nonhuman primates. The viruses that cause EVD are located mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. People can get EVD through direct contact with an infected animal (bat or nonhuman primate) or a sick or dead person infected with Ebola virus.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Ebola vaccine rVSV-ZEBOV (called Ervebo®) on December 19, 2019. This is the first FDA-approved vaccine for Ebola.
This vaccine is given as a single dose vaccine and has been found to be safe and protective against Zaire ebolavirus, which has caused the largest and most deadly Ebola outbreaks to date.
On February 26, 2020, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended pre-exposure prophylaxis vaccination with rVSV-ZEBOV for adults age 18 years or older in the U.S. population who are at potential occupational risk of exposure to Zaire ebolavirus. This recommendation includes adults who are:
- Responding or planning to respond to an outbreak of EVD;
- Laboratorians or other staff working at biosafety-level 4 facilities that work with live Ebola virus in the United States; or
- Healthcare personnel working at federally designated Ebola Treatment Centers in the United States
Outbreaks have been reported sporadically in West African countries since Ebola was first recognized in1976. To date, the largest outbreak began in the country of Guinea in December 2013, and spread to surrounding West African nations, with isolated travel-related cases diagnosed in Spain, Italy, the UK, and the US. In August 2014 the WHO declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). It wasn't until June 2016, after more than 28,000 cases were reported with 11,325 deaths, that all affected countries were declared Ebola-free.
Although the spread of EVD in West Africa was contained in the affected areas, additional cases may occur. On September 20, 2022, the Ugandan Ministry of Health confirmed an outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) (Sudan virus) in Mubende District, in western Uganda. Outbreaks have been reported in 8 districts (Mubende, Kyegegwa, Kassanda, Kagadi, Bunyangabu, Mityana, Kampala, Wakiso). Outbreaks were reported in outbreaks reported in Democratic Republic of the Congo in August & April of 2022. On 4 April 2018, the first Ebola case of an on-going outbreak was reported in the Equateur Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The WHO, CDC and other public health organizations are actively monitoring the situation and supporting local response efforts for which Ebola treatment centers have been established and vaccination campaigns utilizing a promising experimental vaccine have been launched. As of yet the outbreak is localized and does not constitute a PHEIC.