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Ebola virus (formerly officially designated Zaire ebolavirus, or EBOV) is a virus that causes ebola virus disease. It is a virological taxon species included in the genus Ebolavirus, family Filoviridae, members are called Filovirus, the order is Mononegavirales. The Zaire ebolavirus is the most dangerous of the five species of Ebola viruses of the Ebolavirus genus. The virus causes an extremely severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and other primates. EBOV is a select agent, World Health Organization Risk Group 4 Pathogen (requiring Biosafety Level 4-equivalent containment), a U.S. National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Category A Priority Pathogen, U.S. CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Category A Bioterrorism Agent, and listed as a Biological Agent for Export Control by the Australia Group.
The name Zaire ebolavirus is derived from Zaire, the country (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) in which the Ebola virus was first discovered, and the taxonomic suffix ebolavirus (which denotes an ebolavirus species).
The EBOV genome is approximately 19 kb in length. It encodes seven structural proteins: nucleoprotein (NP), polymerase cofactor (VP35), (VP40), GP, transcription activator (VP30), VP24, and RNA polymerase (L).. The Ebola Virus genetics is difficult to study due to the virulent nature of the virus.