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Ebola virus disease is a severe, often fatal illness. The virus is thought to be transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in humans through human-to-human transmission.

The first documented outbreak of Ebola virus disease occurred in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and all subsequent outbreaks have been in Africa.


November 2014 – EFSA provides scientific advice on the risk of transmission of Ebola virus through handling, preparation and consumption of bushmeat illegally imported into Europe from Western and Central Africa.

December 2014 – Experts from EFSA and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control assess the risks of pets transmitting the Ebola virus to humans in Europe.

March 2015 – To complement their scientific advice on bush meat, EFSA experts assess the risk of Ebola transmission from the consumption of raw foods – such as plants, fruits and vegetables – legally imported into the EU from African countries.

June 2015 – EFSA in cooperation with members from European and international partners assess the factors driving the risk of Ebola transmission from animals to humans in Western Africa.


EFSA provides technical assistance to risk managers on the risks of Ebola transmission through food or from animals. EFSA carries out this work in cooperation with its sister agencies and other relevant international organisations.

EU framework

The current outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa is of serious concern. The European Commission is closely working with the EU Member States within the Health Security Committee to keep them informed about the latest developments and to coordinate approaches on prevention and preparation for Ebola.

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