"Ebola virus disease (Ebola or EVD) is a severe, often fatal disease that was first detected near the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 1976. Originating in animals, EVD is spread to and among humans through contact with the blood, secretions, organs, or other bodily fluids of those infected. It is not transmitted through the air. On March 22, 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that 49 people had contracted EVD in Guinea, West Africa, and 29 of them had died. As of mid-August, the virus had quickly spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria. The Ebola virus that is circulating in West Africa is not new, but the current Ebola outbreak has infected and killed more people than all previous Ebola outbreaks combined. As of August 20, 2014, the WHO reported that 2,615 people had contracted the disease, of whom over 1,427 have died, slightly less than the combined cases (2,387) and deaths (1,590) from previous outbreaks. [...] The USAID [U.S. Agency for International Development] FY [Fiscal Year] 2015 budget request is roughly 30% lower than the FY2014 appropriation. This report discusses these funding issues and examines other related concerns, including the impact Ebola is having on other health problems, such as maternal and child mortality, and the capacity of U.S. agencies to respond rapidly to unforeseen events, like the Ebola outbreak, in light of budgetary constraints and spending directives."
CRS Report for Congress, R43697