Ebola is one of the scariest viruses out there — there's no known cure or vaccine, and you can be infected for up to 21 days without showing any symptoms.
This outbreak is also the first time Ebola has hit an urban area, with multiple infections reported in Conakry, the capital of Guinea, which has a population of more than 2 million. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Ppntori)
"I think the fact that this is the first time this has happened in West Africa works against us because people don't understand very well how this epidemic can keep going on for a long time if everyone doesn't pull their weight." (Via Al Jazeera)
Which is why outlets like NPR are asking whether the virus can spread to Europe or the U.S. — while also noting Ebola is less contagious than other diseases like SARS that have seen outbreaks in the past. An expert interviewed for the story said, "The chance of Ebola spreading out of West Africa is very, very low."
And that's why the WHO is meeting with 11 countries in Ghana in early July "to discuss the best way of tackling the crisis collectively as well as develop a comprehensive inter-country operational response plan." (Via Flickr / United States Mission Geneva)
The outbreak will be considered contained after 42 days with no new Ebola cases. That's twice the incubation period.