In February 1996, a violent disease swept northeastern Gabon with a fury. Eighteen people in a small village called Mayibout II, near the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo, suddenly became ill after they found and scavenged a sick chimpanzee, later determined to be infected with the Ebola virus. Their symptoms included fever, headache, vomiting, bleeding in the eyes, bleeding from the gums, hiccupping, and diarrhea. All eighteen were evacuated to a regional hospital downriver. Four died soon after. The bodies were then returned to Mayibout II and buried without special safeguards. Secondary cases of infection occurred among individuals who were in close proximity to their sick friends and family or in managing the dead bodies. In all, thirty-one people became ill, twenty-one people died â€“ a mortality rate of 68 percent.