Cheery News of the Day

by Dave Schuler on August 29, 2014

Well, here’s your cheery news of the day, courtesy of the World Health Organization:

  • The total number of probable and confirmed cases in the current outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the four affected countries as reported by the respective Ministries of Health of Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone is 3069, with 1552 deaths.
  • The outbreak continues to accelerate. More than 40% of the total number of cases have occurred within the past 21 days. However, most cases are concentrated in only a few localities.
  • The overall case fatality rate is 52%. It ranges from 42% in Sierra Leone to 66% in Guinea.
  • A separate outbreak of Ebola virus disease, which is not related to the outbreak in West Africa, was laboratory-confirmed on 26 August by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and is detailed in a separate edition of the Disease Outbreak News.

I think there is some point at which the world should become genuinely concerned. I don’t know that we’re there yet but unless the outbreak(s) begin to subside that point looms nearer.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

steve August 29, 2014 at 12:42 pm

This outbreak is occurring in areas where they don’t have the infrastructure to handle it. They also have issues when the local population decides it is a curse and not an illness. IIRC, it was also the social issues that made AIDS hard to control in South Africa.

Steve

Andy August 30, 2014 at 7:53 am

Since I’m in Africa right now, Ebola is a BFD. Governments are trying to contain the spread but effective governance here is a rarity. In West Africa it’s likely to get a lot worse because quarantine efforts are failing. There’s obviously a big concern about spreading from air travel, particularly since someone can be infected and not show symptoms for three weeks.

Dave Schuler August 30, 2014 at 10:09 am

I continue to wonder how much hubris and patronism are involved in Western assessments of risk.

jan August 30, 2014 at 10:41 am

I saw an assessment on Vox which pretty much matched Steve’s post above. However, information is varied, with ranges of concerns from high to low, regarding how we should be judging this ebola problem.

Yesterday, for instance, a report said that the virus was ‘mutating’ quickly, while other reports say it hasn’t changed much since it first appeared decades ago. As far as it’s containment, it has now spread to Senegal. I personally am not reassured that just because it’s in Africa it will not present a problem here — especially in lieu of the current terrorist group (ISIS) which, in the case of the laptop found in Syria, appears to be exploring bio terrorism.

BTW, Andy, are you in Africa on vacation or is it work-related?

Andy August 30, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Jan,

For work (Uncle Sam).

jan August 30, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Andy,

Somehow I thought that might be the case. If you have further reflections it would be interesting to hear them, as you seem to give cogent commentary about your own experiences.

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