December 2013: The first cases of Ebola are reported in forest areas of Guinea.

March 23: The World Health Organization is first notified as the death toll rises to 59. President Obama is briefed soon after.

{mosads}June 24: Doctors Without Borders, the lead organization fighting Ebola, issues its first international plea for help. “Ebola is no longer a public health issue limited to Guinea. It is affecting the whole of West Africa,” warns Dr. Bart Janssens, the organization’s director of operations.

July 29: Nigerian government official Patrick Sawyer becomes the first American citizen to die of Ebola.

July 31: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns against nonessential travel in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, but Director Tom Frieden says “Ebola poses little risk to the U.S. general population.”

Aug. 1: Obama pledges that the government is actively working to prevent an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. “This is something we take very seriously,” he said. “We’re taking the appropriate precautions.”

Aug. 2: Kent Brantly, a U.S. missionary working in Liberia, is brought to an Atlanta hospital to receive treatment for Ebola. It’s the first case of Ebola treated on U.S. soil.

Aug. 7: The House Foreign Affairs panel holds the first congressional hearing on Ebola. Ken Isaacs, vice president of program and government relations for Samaritan’s Purse, tells members of Congress “the international response has been a failure.”

Aug. 21: Brantly leaves the hospital in Atlanta with a clean bill of health. Two other American aid workers who contracted Ebola abroad are also released from U.S. hospitals. 

Aug. 28: Frieden travels to Sierra Leone, where he says “the outbreak is even worse than I’d feared. … This is a threat not just to West Africa and to Africa, this is a threat to the world.”

Sept. 16: Obama announces major military-led offensive against Ebola. During a visit to the CDC, the president downplays the chances that a case of Ebola would be confirmed in the U.S. “In the unlikely event that someone with Ebola does reach our shores, we’ve taken new measures so that we’re prepared here at home,” he said. 

Sept. 30: A man is diagnosed with Ebola in a Dallas hospital, marking the first case confirmed outside of West Africa. The CDC does not release his identity.

Oct. 1: Several media reports identify the U.S. Ebola patient as a Liberian resident named Thomas Eric Duncan. The New York Times reports he contracted the virus while aiding his pregnant landlord, who died from the disease. The CDC also says the man was in contact with at least 20 people, including five children who attend Dallas-area schools.

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