Ebola Scientific Name
The Ebola virus is a type of RNA virus that causes the disease known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever (also called just Ebola). The scientific name comes from a river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) in Africa, where it was first recognized.
Ebola is one of two members of a family of RNA viruses called Filoviridae. There are four identified subtypes. Three of the four have caused disease in humans:
- Ebola-Ivory Coast
The fourth virus subtype, Ebola-Reston, has caused disease in nonhuman primates, but not in humans.
(Click Ebola to learn more about this illness, including how it is transmitted, where outbreaks have occurred, treatment options, and more.)