The Ebola outbreak has possibly claimed 5,000 lives, according to the World Health Organisation. The disease is scary and its transmission is swift. The few reported cases in the US and Europe has raised the alarm that the epidemic is going global. In reality, almost all the burden of Ebola has been borne by only three countries in West Africa – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

An "Ebola – No Ebola" map created by British chemist Anthony England offers a reminder that the disease has affected only a small portion of Africa.


England’s map was inspired by news reports of a schoolteacher in Louisville, Kentucky, resigning because parents, students, teachers and parishioners were unhappy with her decision to travel to Kenya in a time of Ebola. Kenya in East Africa has not reported a single case of Ebola. Last month, an Oklahoma teacher had to place herself under a 21-day quarantine after returning to the US from Rwanda, another East African Ebola-free country, after an online petition asked her to do so. In New Jersey, two Rwandan students were asked to stay home. The US media has more reports of similar incidents with travellers from Ethiopia, South Africa and Uganda.

Frustrated by the ignorance around Ebola and Africa, England created a map for the "geographically challenged only". In the legend he adds, "if you’re certain it’s lacking some details then you know quite enough."

Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are reeling under Ebola with widespread transmission throughout these countries. However, these countries and their neighbours have shut their borders in the wake of the outbreak. Guinea-Bissau and Cote d’Ivoire that share borders with the three Ebola-affected countires have not reported a single case so far. Mali has reported one death from Ebola, Senegal has had one case, Nigeria has had 20 cases and eight deaths so far. Both Senegal and Nigeria have no current transmission of the virus and have been declared ebola-free. One case has been reported from Spain. Four cases have been confirmed in the United States including one death.

England’s map serves as a reminder yet again that Africa is not a country but a gigantic continent, more then three times the size of the US by area, and made up of 53 countries including the islands off its coasts. England posted the map to his Twitter account on Sunday and since then it has been shared more than a thousand times.