CDC Director: Scale of Ebola Crisis Unprecedented
The current Ebola crisis in West Africa is on pace to sicken more people than all other previous outbreaks of the disease combined, the health official leading the U.S. response said Thursday.What's frightening about this particular variant is that people are living long enough to travel. The main thing about Ebola was that it was so quick, outbreaks very rarely had a chance to get very far - the hosts would be dead before they had a chance to spread the disease far. With a fatality rate well over 50% (1700 infected, 1000 dead), that's pretty scary.
The next few weeks will be critical, said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is sending more workers into the affected countries to help.
Now, there's a step back that needs to be taken. According to the CDC, the disease has over a 90% fatality rate. That sounds really freakin' scary, doesn't it? However, if you look at the outbreak data, the true rate is wildly different. In some cases it's as low as 25%. In others, it's in the upper 80s (the three cases with 100% fatality had a single death each).
You do have to wonder about the correlation between survival and the state of medical facilities and/or presence of medical staff in-country. These outbreaks happen in countries that don't have the same sort of medical facilities or treatments available here; what might be only a really bad fever could easily turn deadly with lack of hydration or secondary infection.
In any case, I wouldn't want to be anywhere near Atlanta right now...
That is all.
Another dispatch from...
(image courtesy of Robb Allen)