Why This Ebola Epidemic Won’t Become the ‘Black Death’ of the 21st Century
A new CDC report warns that, without intervention, Ebola cases in West Africa could double every 20 days. But basic improvements in medical infrastructure can — and will — be able to stop the bleeding.
The ongoing outbreak of Ebola in a three-country region of West Africa is the worst that mankind has ever seen.
The latest assessment
estimated that more than 5,800 people have been infected and 2,803 people have died, but many health officials warn the toll could be much higher.
At its current infection rate, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 20,000 Ebola cases by November
in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine today. Now that the infections have moved from largely rural areas to densely populated cities, some projections show many more infections by the end of September.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed a new report Tuesday
that states that without additional intervention, Ebola infections in Nigeria and Sierra Leone could reach 21,000 cases by the end of the month. That rate is expected to double every 20 days.
“If conditions continue without scale-up of interventions, cases will continue to double approximately every 20 days, and the number of cases in West Africa will rapidly reach extraordinary levels. However, the findings also indicate that the epidemic can be controlled,” the report concludes.