Ebola may never be conquered, warn experts; infections could plague humanity forever

Friday, September 26, 2014
By Paul Martin

by: Ethan A. Huff
Friday, September 26, 2014

Not enough is being done to curb the spread of Ebola in West Africa, and the result could be a never-ending circulation of the disease, says a panel of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO). More than 60 WHO experts, publishing their prediction in a recent issue of The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), say the current outbreak appears “bleak,” with a true mortality rate of more than 70 percent.

Many more people than are being reported also likely have the disease, says the panel, which warned that far more than 20,000 new cases of Ebola will emerge by November if new control measures aren’t implemented immediately. We can expect the number of new cases per week to jump from the current rate of just hundreds into the thousands, and not long after that into the hundreds of thousands.

“The current epidemiologic outlook is bleak,” wrote the WHO panel in NEJM. “We must therefore face the possibility that Ebola virus disease will become endemic among the human population of West Africa, a prospect that has never previously been contemplated.”

Because the currently circulating strain of Ebola appears to be slow to mutate, it was originally predicted that it would eventually fizzle out on its own. But considering the fact that Ebola is spreading in and out of rural and urban areas, and across national boundaries, with relative ease, it is highly likely that the disease will linger in certain pockets and mutate.

If this occurs, it will be much more difficult to fully stamp it out, and experts say it will be nearly impossible to ensure that the virus is ever truly gone from human circulation. In the immediate future, the disease will continue to spread exponentially, infecting potentially millions of people and leading to societal breakdown in some areas.

The Rest…HERE

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