Ebola worst-case scenario: Over half a million people infected

Saturday, September 20, 2014
By Paul Martin

September 19, 2014

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is preparing a worst-case-scenario report on the West African Ebola outbreak. The disease could spread to over half a million people if no additional action is taken to contain it, early estimates predict.

As of Sunday, there were 5335 probable, confirmed and suspected cases of Ebola across Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal. Of those, 2622 people have died, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced Thursday.

The CDC’s report, which is scheduled to be released next week, will estimate how many people the disease will infect by the end of January, assuming no additional aid or intervention by governments and relief agencies occurs.

“CDC is working on a dynamic modeling tool that allows for recalculations of projected Ebola cases over time,” Barbara Reynolds, a spokeswoman for the agency, said in an e-mail to Bloomberg. “CDC expects to release this interactive tool and a description of its use soon.”

The current projection of 550,000 cases is currently being reviewed by researchers, and may change, two people familiar with its contents, who asked to remain anonymous because it isn’t yet public, told Bloomberg.

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