Ebola at 6 months. On 26 December 2013, a 2-year-old boy in the remote Guinean village of Meliandou fell ill with a mysterious illness characterized by fever, black stools, and vomiting. He died 2 days later. Retrospective case-finding by WHO would later identify that child as West Africa’s first case of Ebola virus disease. The circumstances surrounding his illness were ominous.
During the country’s long years of civil unrest, natural resources were exploited by mining and timber companies. The ecology in the densely-forested area changed. Fruit bats, which are thought by most scientists to be the natural reservoir of the virus, moved closer to human settlements.