Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Where does the WHO estimate of 5,000 to 10,000 new Ebola cases in December come from?

The number of Ebola infections in West Africa continues to increase at an alarming rate (link).

As the official international public health agency, the World Health Organization (WHO) is tasked with tracking and reporting on infectious diseases around  the world.  As of October  14, 2014 the WHO has reported more than 8900 Ebola cases from the three West Africa nations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, where the Ebola outbreak has not yet been contained (link).

Below is a chart showing the continued rising number of new cases by week number in these three countries.  The data in the chart is based on official WHO data through October 12, 2014 (link).  A quote from Dr. Bruce Aylward,  a WHO spokespersonindicates that by mid December 2014 between 5,000 to 10,000 new weekly Ebola cases could reported in the three West African countries  (link).

The next graph below shows the temporal progression of the increases in new cases with a trend line projecting news cases into the coming weeks. The exponential trend line from the current  WHO data projects 5,000 to 10,000 new weekly cases of Ebola in West Africa by December 2014. This is the basis of Aylward's comments yesterday.

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