CDC Estimates Ebola Cases in West Africa Could Go Beyond Half Million by January

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in their recent report on the present Ebola outbreak in West Africa,  states that immediate treatments be put in place rapidly, and advise that the “cost of delay will be damaging.”

CDC estimates that there will be around 21,000 cases of Ebola in Liberia and Sierra Leone by the end of September and could go beyond half million by January 2015.

If present trends carry on, they say the upcoming number of cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could go beyond 550,000 by January. That estimation is dependent on noted cases. If under reporting is considered into account, their estimations propose that figure is probably be close to 1.4 million.

CDC says they can’t promise the reliability of their estimates, they are very clear about their key messages: “if situations stay unchanged, the circumstance will quickly become more serious,” and this is a warning and a call to action.

The CDC reports their estimations – and how they came at them with a new model – in their recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). The report specifics that the CDC estimates for future Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone, where the outbreak is un-contained and uncontrollable.

Number of Cases Increasing Every Day

The report notices that on March 22, 2014, there were 49 revealed cases of Ebola in Guinea, where the present epidemic in West Africa started.

In August, the epidemic had propagate to boarder sharing nations Liberia and Sierra Leone, and the overall number of possible, proved and suspected cases had increased to 3,685.

The CDC approximate that by the end of September, there will be about 8,000 Ebola conditions – or as many as 21,000 cases if modifications for under-reporting are included – in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

And if present trends proceed, “without further interventions or modifications in community behaviour,” these figures will boost to about 550,000 cases – or 1.4 million which includes under-reported cases.

The estimates assume the present situations of disease transmission will stay unchanged. The primary driver of the reports is that in Liberia, the number of cases is doubling about each 15-20 days, and in Sierra Leone and Guinea, they are doubling about each 30-40 days.

EbolaResponse Modeling Method Takes into Consideration Disease Levels and Kinds of Isolation

For their estimations, the CDC designed a new modelling tool known as EbolaResponse, containing an Excel spreadsheet that contains a set of formulae and assumptions.

The model enables scientists to calculate the daily movement of sufferers within disease stages using possibilities for three various types of isolation.

The three various types of isolation are:

  • hospitalization
  • home with effective isolation
  • home with no effective isolation.

Ideally, Ebola therapy units and proper medical care facilities have infection control processes that protect against disease spread, but the CDC note this is not generally the case. So the model considers there is an average day-to-day risk that transmission will happen – however this is less than one person attacked per infectious patient.

The model consists of data from past Ebola epidemic – for example, times of infectivity, time between subjection and sickness. There is no proof that the virus is spreading in a different way from previous epidemic.

To approximate the amount of under-reported cases, the report uses a aspect of 2.5. This was measured using estimations of beds-in-use from the model and evaluating them to expert views of actual beds-in-use on a given day (August 28th). The distinction is a potential under-reporting modification factor (1.5 more beds were being used than the model projected.)

‘Cost of Postpone will be Destructive’

The CDC says we know how to manage and stop the outbreak. The model indicates this will need about 70% of people contaminated with Ebola be cared for in Ebola therapy units, or if these are full, they must be cared for at home or in a community environment, where danger of disease is decreased and burials are performed safely.

Every month of postpone in attaining this 70% target will raise the number of cases and deaths, and the need for more beds and resources. “The cost of delay will be destructive,” say the CDC.

If we are to stay away from the devastating scenario the model projects for January, successful interventions need to occur speedily, says CDC. This involves “suitable disease control methods, communication, improvements in community behavior, and sufficient resources (like as staff members, beds, devices, and supplies).”

The CDC model reports the number of beds that would be required in medical centers and Ebola therapy units, but it is not developed to give details of resources like as increased protection measures to reduce disease spread.

In a latest Science editorial, Peter Piot, who in 1976 co-identified the Ebola virus in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo), states that the present Ebola crisis needs a “rapid reaction at a massive international scale.”

Now a professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Prof. Piot says the outbreak in West Africa is the outcome of a “perfect storm” that combines dysfunctional health services, low believe in Western medicine and government authorities, denials that the Ebola virus exists, and unhygienic funeral practices.

At the same time, the UN Security Council has fixed that the Ebola epidemic in Africa constitutes a risk to international peace and safety, and calls on member states to react quickly to the crisis.

The crisis is so immediate that a professional panel of the World Health Organization (WHO) came to the conclusion in August that it would be lawful to evaluate un-registered investigational therapies for Ebola virus disease in people.

To this end, the aid agency MSF/Doctors devoid of Borders presently revealed that Ebola treatment studies are to be fast-tracked in West Africa for the first time.