Ebola: From the first cases to a global health emergency

The deadliest Ebola outbreak in history resulted in 11,315 deaths, with 28,637 confirmed cases of infection in eight countries as of Thursday, according to the World Health Organization.

A timeline of key dates:

December 28, 2013 - A 1-year-old boy dies of a yet-unidentified hemorrhagic fever in the village of Meliandou, south-eastern Guinea, near the border with Sierra Leone and Liberia. His sister, mother and grandmother die in January of the same disease, which is later confirmed as Ebola.

March 22, 2014 - Guinea confirms an Ebola outbreak that has killed 59 people. There are concerns the virus may have spread to Sierra Leone.

March 25 - Ebola is detected in Liberia; five deaths reported.

March 26 - Guinea prohibits the sale and consumption of wild animals, which are regarded as potential carriers.

May 26 - Sierra Leone closes its borders after five people die.

June 23 - Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF, Doctors Without Borders) warns the epidemic is "out of control."

July 2 - West African health ministers agree at a summit in Ghana on a transnational strategy that includes awareness campaigns and a WHO control program in Guinea.

July 21 - United Nations warns people living in regions affected by Ebola not to consume fruit bats and other wildlife.

July 26 - Ebola spreads to a fourth country, with Nigeria confirming a Liberian government consultant's death in a Lagos hospital. Nigeria puts security forces at airports, seaports and borders on high alert.

July 28 - Liberia closes all borders and exit points to neighbouring countries, apart from two airports and three border crossings.

July 29 - Renowned Sierra Leonean doctor Sheik Umar Khan dies of Ebola after being infected while treating patients.

July 31 - Sierra Leone declares national emergency. WHO announces 100-million-dollar program to fight Ebola.

August 2 - Ebola-infected American doctor working in Liberia is flown to the US for treatment - the first-ever Ebola patient treated in the Western hemisphere. Reportedly close to death, his health improves after being given the experimental drug Zmapp.

August 4 - World Bank pledges up to 200 million dollars in aid to Ebola-affected countries.

August 6 - US President Barack Obama promises to assist the fight against Ebola; Liberia imposes a three-month state of emergency.

August 8 - WHO declares West Africa's Ebola epidemic an international health emergency, allowing it to issue rules to combat the epidemic. Nigeria declares a national emergency.

August 12 - WHO says number of Ebola victims crosses 1,000.

August 16 - Mob storms Liberian hospital and helps 17 Ebola patients flee.

August 21 - Two US missionaries sent home with Ebola are released after a complete cure.

August 24 - Democratic Republic of Congo reports first cases; outbreak is separate from the one in West Africa.

September 3 - WHO says 600 million dollars needed to control outbreak.

September 10 - Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledges 50 million dollars.

September 15 - African Union says it will send a team of 30 health workers and other specialists to combat outbreak.

September 16 - US commits 3,000 troops, plans to train up to 500 health care workers a week and build 17 new clinics for Ebola cases.

September 19 - Sierra Leone imposes three-day national quarantine.

September 23 - US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says West Africa could see up to 1.4 million cases of Ebola by January 20 unless the international community mobilizes quickly.

September 25 - Ebola infections in Guinea stabilize.

September 26 - Efforts to use experimental Ebola drugs in West Africa are now focused on therapies that use blood from survivors.

September 30 - Ebola is diagnosed in a patient in the United States for the first time; at least 3,700 children in West Africa have seen one or both parents die because of Ebola.

October 6 - Nurse in Madrid - who treated a Spanish missionary who died of Ebola in Spain after contracting it in Africa - is the first confirmed case of human-to-human transmission of the disease in Europe.

October 8 - Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan, the first patient to be diagnosed with Ebola outside of Africa, dies in US hospital.

October 14 - Somalia quarantines 800 Sierra Leonean peacekeepers who are to relieve a previous contingent, after one soldier tests positive.

October 16 - Sierra Leone says epidemic has reached every district in the country.

October 17 - WHO says Senegal is Ebola-free; admits systemic mistakes in the handling of the early stages of the epidemic in West Africa.

October 20 - WHO declares Nigeria Ebola-free.

October 21 - WHO announces vaccine might be available in January.

October 24 - Mali reports first Ebola death, a 2-year-old girl who visited Guinea.

October 29 - WHO says Liberia's infection rate has slowed, partly because of changes in cultural mortuary practices.

October 30 - North Korea imposes a mandatory 21-day quarantine on all foreign nationals arriving from abroad.

November 1 - Canada suspends visas for West African countries affected by Ebola.

November 3 - Singapore imposes visa requirements on Ebola-stricken nations.

November 5 - Obama ask Congress to provide 6.2 billion dollars to fight Ebola; UN reports a surge in cases in Sierra Leone due to lack of treatment centres.

November 6 - France starts screening airline passengers arriving from Guinea.

November 10 - First test of Ebola vaccine on humans in Germany gets under way.

November 11 - UN warns West Africa is on the brink of a major food crisis because of Ebola.

November 13 - Liberia ends state of emergency.

November 22 - UN expands its Ebola emergency mission to Mali.

November 25 - An Ebola burial team goes on strike in eastern Sierra Leone, abandoning 15 highly contagious corpses in the street.

November 28 - French President Francois Hollande arrives in Guinea as the first Western head of state to visit West Africa's Ebola hotzone.

December 2 - World Bank warns Ebola is crippling the economies of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

December 6 - European Union pledges 62 million euros to fight Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

December 8 - WHO says battle against malaria is threatened in West Africa following the collapse of health services under the burden of Ebola.

March 5, 2015 - Based on promising data from initial clinical trials in late 2014, WHO announces a Phase III trial will be launched in Guinea to test a vaccine, developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

August 17 - Guinea President Alpha Conde says Ebola vaccine is 100-per-cent effective.

October 14 - Preliminary results of a study into persistence of Ebola in body fluids show that some men still produce semen samples that test positive for Ebola virus nine months after onset of symptoms.

November 7 - WHO says Ebola virus transmission has stopped in Sierra Leone.

December 29 - WHO declares end of Ebola virus transmission in Guinea.

January 14, 2016 - WHO announces end of Ebola virus transmission in Liberia, officially ending the outbreak in West Africa.

January 15 - WHO confirms a new Ebola case has been reported in Sierra Leone.

Last update: Fri, 15/01/2016 - 11:45

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