The Race To Contain West Africa's Ebola Outbreak

Liat Clark | Wired | April 11, 2014

Digital volunteers are racing to map regions in West Africa where the Ebola virus, which has a 90 percent fatality rate, continues to spread

When the first Ebola virus victims were identified in Guinea in February, no one knew it would be the start of an unprecedented outbreak.

With no vaccine, no treatment and no real understanding of its viral point of origin, it is one of the most deadly diseases on the planet to aflict humans. All you can do to stem its spread is sterilise, sterilise, sterilise, and potentially close transport links.

Less than two months later, though, after the disease spread to the congested and cramped capital of Conakry, the virus has killed more than 100 people across three countries, spreading from Guinea to Liberia and Sierra Leone. Historically, outbreaks have always been confined to one country.

"I don't think anyone has ever faced this," Paul Jenkins, head of partnership development at the British Red Cross, told