For many people, the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak was the first time they had heard of Ebola virus disease. It was not the first outbreak of the disease, but it was the largest, with approximately 28,500 suspected cases. Now, in 2016, the epidemic has ended1. However, it is only a matter of time before Ebola emerges again. If a vaccine were to be developed and widely distributed before the next outbreak, it could save many lives.
The 2014 – 2016 Ebola outbreak was the largest in history. It began with a few cases in Guinea, but quickly spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone, with some limited cases occurring in other countries. The outbreak grew so serious that the World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a public health emergency of international concern1. However, even with international assistance, the disease was hard to combat. Preventing the spread of Ebola virus disease was difficult due to the lack of vaccines and the ease of transmission of the virus2. Treating it was no easier. At the start of the outbreak, there were no approved treatments for Ebola virus disease3. As the crisis continued, some treatments were developed, but they still needed to be tested for safety and efficacy.