As the New York Times reminds us today, the Health Ministry of Zaire named the Ebola virus after the Ebola River back in 1976. That river is a tributary of the Congo River. Zaire is, of course, now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

From the November 30, 1976 New York Times:

The virus responsible for the recent epidemic of green monkey fever that claimed several hundred lives will be known as the Ebola Virus, after a river in the north, the Health Ministry announced today.

The current Ebola outbreak has infected roughly 8,000 people and killed over 3,000.

Image: Ebola virus via the CDC


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