Ebola Cannot Be Halted or Slowed Any Time Soon, Says New Study

Rhykker

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Feb 28, 2010
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Ebola Cannot Be Halted or Slowed Any Time Soon, Says New Study



According to a new study, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has progressed to a point where intervention techniques will not be able to significantly slow the virus' spread before the end of the year.

Using data on the current and past Ebola outbreaks, researchers have developed a model to forecast the spread of the Ebola virus [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/tag/view/virus] in West Africa and determine the effectiveness of different intervention techniques, including the development of a vaccine. Not wanting to project too far into the future in order to maintain as much accuracy as possible with such predictions, the researchers' model forecasts until the end of this year and reveals an outbreak that is nowhere close to peaking in its spread.

The research team tested five different intervention strategies on the model, and while these did help the situation, none were able to halt the progress of the epidemic. Even a vaccine would only lower mortality rates without significantly affecting the virus' spread.

The team concluded that while short-term intervention is helpful, the devotion of resources to the efforts in the long-term are now necessary to address the outbreak.

As of October 14, the World Health Organization [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/136613-World-Health-Organization-Latest-Ebola-Outbreak-Moving-Too-Fast-to-Control] (WHO), the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), OCHA and local governments have reported a total of 9,216 suspected cases and 4,555 deaths attributed to Ebola. The research team's end-of-year forecast predicts well over 200,000 infections, with the worst yet to come. The paper highlights the conclusion that at this point, improved infection control will not be enough to stop the epidemic from continuing its upward trend toward its eventual peak.

That said, the researchers do believe that coordinated intervention is imperative, even in the short term. This is not an "all is lost" scenario, but rather, "batten down the hatches; we need to weather this storm." We're still in the early stages of the outbreak, with no end in sight.

"The epidemic is currently beyond the point where it can be easily controlled," the team writes. "Despite the considerable impact the proposed interventions have on the burden of disease, none of them are forecast, at least in the short term, to halt the epidemic entirely."

For a timeline on the spread of the outbreak since patient 0 and up to this summer, as well as information on what you can do to stay safe, read this article on the Ebola virus outbreak of 2014. [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/scienceandtech/12107-The-Ebola-Virus-Outbreak-of-2014-Everything-You-Need-to-Know]

Source: PLOS Current Outbreaks [http://currents.plos.org/outbreaks/article/obk-14-0043-modeling-the-impact-of-interventions-on-an-epidemic-of-ebola-in-sierra-leone-and-liberia/]

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Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
Sounds like its time to start panicking. Everyone form an orderly line and we can begin our organized descent into chaos.

 

P-89 Scorpion

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Loop Stricken said:
Maybe they should try, I dunno, not letting possibly-infected people flee the country?
There are 3 countries with high infection rates and the governments of all three are denying all the time that the medical/police/military of there countries are breaking down.

Not to mention that 2 of them have admitted that those who die from ebola but were not in a hospital when they died are not counted in the figures they give the WHO.

So the only way to stop those infected from just walking to one of the 3 neighbouring countries with the large land borders they share would be to invade and then risk large numbers of western military being infected.

By the end of January the WHO predicts 1 in 10 of the population of Liberia and Sierra Leone will be infected.
 

Parasondox

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WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!

*Everyone screams in horror*

Alright, I think that's my bit down for the evening. Wake me up when the Daily Mail gives us another item that may cause cancer. I am hoping for pens this time.
 

Baresark

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First: I see Escapist has jumped on the "OMG PANIC" bandwagon here. That's always nice to see.

Second: I'm in partial agreement about a few things here. In Africa Ebola has a pretty high morbidity rate at this point. The more infected, the harder it becomes to contain.

Third: How in the world does 9200 suspected Ebola cases turn into 200,000 infected. I'm calling bullshit, someone made a big typo somewhere.

Fourth: Maybe someone can explain to me why the WHO denied the "right" of experimental treatments to the people of Africa. Last I checked, if I'm 99% sure I am gonna die because I have Ebola, who the hell are they to tell me I'm not allowed to try anything I want to cure myself (within reason of course).
 

mavkiel

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Well we can all rest easier knowing there is an Ebola Czar now.. After all, the main issue in the US is that there wasn't enough bureaucracy, so hiring another life long bureaucrat ought to help.
 

P-89 Scorpion

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Baresark said:
First: I see Escapist has jumped on the "OMG PANIC" bandwagon here. That's always nice to see.

Second: I'm in partial agreement about a few things here. In Africa Ebola has a pretty high morbidity rate at this point. The more infected, the harder it becomes to contain.

Third: How in the world does 9200 suspected Ebola cases turn into 200,000 infected. I'm calling bullshit, someone made a big typo somewhere.

Fourth: Maybe someone can explain to me why the WHO denied the "right" of experimental treatments to the people of Africa. Last I checked, if I'm 99% sure I am gonna die because I have Ebola, who the hell are they to tell me I'm not allowed to try anything I want to cure myself (within reason of course).

First infected December 2013
31st March 2014 - 130 infected
30th April 2014 - 233 79% increase
29th May 2014 - 354 52%
30th June 2014 - 759 114%
31st July 2014 - 1,440 90%
31st August 2014 - 3,707 157%
28th September 2014 - 7,192 94%
14th October 2014 - 9,216 28%

If the infection rate continues at a 90% increase every month 180,000 will be infected by the end of February 2015

Unfortunately the above WHO figures are believed to be vastly underestimated as the governments are only giving the numbers of those admitted to hospital, if someone gets ebola and dies before being admitted to a hospital then they are not counted. The WHO believes the real infected rate is 2.5 times higher if that is correct 200,000 by the end of December is possible.


Edit yeah I suck at maths.
 

Don Incognito

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More people die of influenza every year, by orders of magnitude, than have ever died of ebola in all of recorded history.

Get your flu shots.

Wash your hands.

Don't panic.
 

P-89 Scorpion

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Don Incognito said:
More people die of influenza every year, by orders of magnitude, than have ever died of ebola in all of recorded history.

Get your flu shots.

Wash your hands.

Don't panic.
In the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic it had a fatality rate of 2%

The 2009 influenza pandemic had a fatality rate of 0.03%

Ebola has a fatality rate of between 25% - 90% with the average between 60-70%

And with the Ebola infection rate still increasing at 50% every month since it started Africa is in deep shit as is anyone else who gets it. God forbid it gets into India or China.
 

Don Incognito

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That is all perfectly true.

However, it is not particularly likely to spread in any nation with a functional public health system.
 

Uratoh

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I'm really wondering how much the 'breaking people out of quarentine, telling them the disease was a lie, so run' event had to do with it getting as out of hand as it is.
 

chiefohara

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The problem with Africa is health services and logistics. Liberia has 50 doctors in the entire country. 1 doctor to 70,000 people. Add to that lack of education (people have attacked health workers and hospitals because they think Ebola is a man made virus out to kill them) Along with burial customs (people washing the infected body to prepare it for burial) and people attending native/tribal/medicine man type doctors with bullshit remedies and you can see how the virus spiraled out of control.

Ebola takes from 2 days to 2 weeks to show infection but because its not airborne the majority of people will be okay. Unless you are sleeping with someone who has it, or someone who has it sneezed in your face you'll be fine. Its passed on through touch and liquid. You could have been sharing a daily bus with an ebola victim for the last month and you will be fine.

This bastard virus is going to devastate africa, but its not going to kill the world.
 

Daaaah Whoosh

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Well, it is about time for a plague. Let's just hope we're more prepared for this one than the last few. Or, I guess maybe Africa is due for a population check; frankly, we all need to stop having babies, but that's especially true for people who have no chance of a decent life and probably have AIDS, right?
 

Baresark

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P-89 Scorpion said:
Baresark said:
First: I see Escapist has jumped on the "OMG PANIC" bandwagon here. That's always nice to see.

Second: I'm in partial agreement about a few things here. In Africa Ebola has a pretty high morbidity rate at this point. The more infected, the harder it becomes to contain.

Third: How in the world does 9200 suspected Ebola cases turn into 200,000 infected. I'm calling bullshit, someone made a big typo somewhere.

Fourth: Maybe someone can explain to me why the WHO denied the "right" of experimental treatments to the people of Africa. Last I checked, if I'm 99% sure I am gonna die because I have Ebola, who the hell are they to tell me I'm not allowed to try anything I want to cure myself (within reason of course).

First infected December 2013
31st March 2014 - 130 infected
30th April 2014 - 233 79% increase
29th May 2014 - 354 34%
30th June 2014 - 759 53%
31st July 2014 - 1,440 47%
31st August 2014 - 3,707 61%
28th September 2014 - 7,192 48%
14th October 2014 - 9,216 22%

If the infection rate continues at a 50% increase every month 230,000 will be infected by the end of February 2015

Unfortunately the above WHO figures are believed to be vastly underestimated as the governments are only giving the numbers of those admitted to hospital, if someone gets ebola and dies before being admitted to a hospital then they are not counted. The WHO believes the real infected rate is 2.5 times higher if that is correct 200,000 by the end of December is possible.
Now, I don't claim to be an expert at the maths, but if it increases by 50% every month, it won't be anywhere near 200k people infected by December, it will be an order of magnitude less, literally.

So, feel free to tell me what I did wrong there. I simply added 50% to the numbers for several months (cumulative of course), unless we are literally assuming the number is 2.5 times less than what is based on actual known numbers. In that case, by December we are looking at 60.5k cases, not 200k cases. Once again, feel free to correct me on how I'm looking at this wrong.
 

mavkiel

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chiefohara said:
...]
Ebola takes from 2 days to 2 weeks to show infection but because its not airborne the majority of people will be okay. Unless you are sleeping with someone who has it, or someone who has it sneezed in your face you'll be fine. Its passed on through touch and liquid. You could have been sharing a daily bus with an ebola victim for the last month and you will be fine.

This bastard virus is going to devastate africa, but its not going to kill the world.
Should I dig up all the studies that show how filthy people are? Fecal matter on door knobs, on cash. Heck off the top of my head I recall a gas station got some in the ice machine. One person could spread it rather far. And honestly, yes its unlikely you will catch it. But if you do, it ranks high up there on the worst ways to die.

Captcha: Last straw
 

lacktheknack

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It's still only transmitted via bodily fluids after symptoms have started, though, right?

So while this is terrifying for the African countries where ebola has a foothold, it's not going to effectively spread in countries where we quarantine sick people.

Still, utterly tragic. :(
 

lacktheknack

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mavkiel said:
chiefohara said:
...]
Ebola takes from 2 days to 2 weeks to show infection but because its not airborne the majority of people will be okay. Unless you are sleeping with someone who has it, or someone who has it sneezed in your face you'll be fine. Its passed on through touch and liquid. You could have been sharing a daily bus with an ebola victim for the last month and you will be fine.

This bastard virus is going to devastate africa, but its not going to kill the world.
Should I dig up all the studies that show how filthy people are? Fecal matter on door knobs, on cash. Heck off the top of my head I recall a gas station got some in the ice machine. One person could spread it rather far. And honestly, yes its unlikely you will catch it. But if you do, it ranks high up there on the worst ways to die.

Captcha: Last straw
The risk of infection is essentially nil until the symptoms occur - at which point, the patient isn't going to be moving very far at all.

Better news: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2014/10/16/ebola-infections-with-no-symptoms-are-possible-and-they-could-help-end-the-west-africa-epidemic/

Apparently, in data taken from previous ebola outbreaks, 20-60% of people are asymptomatic - they get infected, their body is all like "AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA no" and they are then immune to the disease from there on out, and they're never contagious. That's really reassuring.