Monday, September 29, 2014

Predictions about Ebola coming true

It's been two weeks since The Archdruid on Ebola and other epidemic news, so it's time for another update.

First, this video from Discovery News: Everything You Need To Know About Ebola In Under 3 Minutes.

The current Ebola outbreak is the worst in history, and there are a lot of myths about this virus floating around. Julian is here to figure out what is fact, and what is fiction.
Now that the general introduction is out of the way, on September 19, 2014, Arizona State University posted Research predicts possible 6,800 new Ebola cases this month.
New research published in the online journal PLoS Outbreaks predicts new Ebola cases could reach 6,800 in West Africa by the end of the month if new control measures are not enacted.

Arizona State University and Harvard University researchers also discovered through modeling analysis that the rate of rise in cases significantly increased in August in Liberia and Guinea, around the time that a mass quarantine was put in place, indicating that the mass quarantine efforts may have made the outbreak worse than it would have been otherwise.

Deteriorating living and hygiene conditions in some of the quarantined areas sparked riots last month. Sierra Leone began a three day country-wide quarantine today, where all citizens have been asked to stay at home, said Sherry Towers, research professor for the ASU Simon A. Levin Mathematical, Computational and Modeling Sciences Center (MCMSC) in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Tomorrow is the end of the month, so it's time to see if that prediction is coming true.  In Liberia's top doctor in quarantine after assistant dies of Ebola, Reuters reported the latest.
The latest figures from the World Health Organization show that the death toll from the worst outbreak of Ebola on record has killed at least 3,091 people, out of 6,574 probable, suspected and confirmed cases.
Pretty close, especially since the numbers came out on Saturday.  I'm sure four more days would push the number of cases to and probably past 6,800.

As for the future, another Reuters report passed along these grim projections.
WHO said earlier this week the total number of infections could reach 20,000 by November, months earlier than previously forecast. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned between 550,000 and 1.4 million people might be infected in the region by January if nothing was done.
The Archdruid is right to be concerned about Ebola.  He concluded his response to a comment of mine on Dark Age America: The Senility of the Elites on the topic.
I probably need to do a post here on the likely role of pandemic disease in the transition to the deindustrial dark age. Given that Ebola cases are doubling every twenty days at this point, that may be a more immediately relevant point than most people like to think.
I hope he follows through.  If so, it wouldn't be the first time one of my comments prompted him to explore a topic.  I did it before when I inspired The Archdruid to write about Steampunk.  That's when I wrote the following to him.
On my blog, I've written that interacting with you has been good for my writing.  I'm glad to see that the reverse has been true for you, too.
May that continue to be so.

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