Via Richard Preston‘s fantastic and alarming New Yorker article on the genesis and spread of Ebola, we learn that a major early vector of the current epidemic was an unidentified faith-healing fraudster. Preston tells of a Sierra Leone woman who
… had been at the funeral of a faith healer who had recently been to Guinea and had died after attempting to heal a number of people sick with Ebola. … Teams of epidemiologists and health workers spread out from Kenema and identified twelve more women who were sick with Ebola. All of them had been at the funeral of the faith healer.