While WHO Director Thomas Frieden's "gut" says the worst-case scenario won't come to pass (thanks to the actions that are being taken), the CDC is about to release its Ebola-epidemic scenario tool that suggests up to 1.4 million infections by mid-January. As The NY Times reports, these figures take into account the fact that many cases go undetected, and estimate that there are actually 2.5 times as many as reported. In the best-case model, the epidemic in both countries would be "almost ended" by Jan. 20, the report said. Perhaps more worrying is the WHO report also, for the first time, raised the possibility that the disease would not be stopped but would become endemic in West Africa, meaning that it could become a constant presence there. Aid group Samaritan’s Purse is gravely concerned at the spread of the disease, fearing "it's too late. Nobody's going to build 100,000 beds."
Yet another set of ominous projections about the Ebola epidemic in West Africa was released Tuesday, in a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that gave worst- and best-case estimates for Liberia and Sierra Leone based on computer modeling.
- *CDC SAYS RELEASING MODELING TOOL TO PROJECT EBOLA SCENARIOS
- *CDC: MMWR ESTS. 550,000-1.4M EBOLA CASES BY JAN. 20 '15
- *CDC SAYS STILL POSSIBLE TO REVERSE EPIDEMIC
- *CDC SAYS IMMEDIATE ACTIONS CAN HELP BRING EBOLA CASES DOWN
- *CDC SAYS NEED TO SCALE UP EBOLA TREATMENT CENTERS ASAP
- *CDC SAYS TAKING PRECAUTIONS IN U.S. AGAINST EBOLA
- *CDC SAYS IN PHONE CONF. CALL 'AGGRESSIVELY' SEEKING PARTNERS
- *CDC SAYS SEEKING EUROPEAN PARTNERS ON EBOLA FIGHT
In the best-case model — which assumes that the dead are buried safely and that 70 percent of patients are treated in settings that reduce the risk of transmission — the epidemic in both countries would be “almost ended” by Jan. 20, the report said. It showed the proportion of patients now in such settings as about 18 percent in Liberia and 40 percent in Sierra Leone.
“My gut feeling is, the actions we’re taking now are going to make that worst-case scenario not come to pass,” Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the C.D.C. director, said in a telephone interview. “But it’s important to understand that it could happen.”
The current official case count is 5,843, including 2,803 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.
The W.H.O. report also, for the first time, raised the possibility that the disease would not be stopped but would become endemic in West Africa, meaning that it could become a constant presence there.
Ken Isaacs, a vice president of the aid group Samaritan’s Purse, said, “I believe inevitably this is going to move into people’s houses, and the notion of home-based care has to play a more prominent role.” He said there could be 100,000 or more cases by the end of 2014.
“Where are they going to go?” Mr. Isaacs asked. “It’s too late. Nobody’s going to build 100,000 beds.”
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We can only hope such vastly horrible numbers are modest scaremongery to ensure CDC/WHO are funded correctly... because if not, forget African economic growth for the next decade...
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The Ebola epidemic is spreading rapidly in Sierra Leone’s densely packed capital - and it may already be far worse than the authorities acknowledge.
Various models of the growth of the epidemic here “all show an exponential increase,” said Peter H. Kilmarx, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team in Sierra Leone. “The conditions are amenable to Ebola spread.”
“Since last month, it’s every day, any minute and hour, and often, they are coming” to bury the Ebola dead, said Desmond Kamara, a police officer.
A cloudy stream drains from the area of the new graves into the slum, further frightening the residents.
“We are at risk, big risk,” said Ousman Kamara, a resident. “We have made many complaints.”
But the bodies, he said, keep coming.
“Even at night,” he said. “You stand here, and you see them coming.”
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