According to WHO
, through December 6, 2014 (December 3 for Liberia) there were:
17,834 reported Ebola cases
6,346 reported Ebola deaths
As noted previously, if the data reported by WHO is sufficiently correct then the growth of Ebola may no longer be exponential in most areas. If
that's true, and if it continues to be true, that is great news!
It's potentially still early in this epidemic, so things may change. And there are still a lot of concerns over whether the numbers reported are
accurate. But let's hope that this really is the good news it appears to be.
I have updated the Ebola charts with the latest reported data. Explanations of the charts are also below.
Charts 1, 2, and 6 show the cumulative numbers of reported cases and deaths so far. In Chart 1, the y (left) axis is linear. In Chart 2, the y axis
is a logarithmic scale where major divisions of the axis increase by powers of 10 (the base is 10). Chart 6 has the y axis in powers of 2 (the base
is 2, so 1, 2, 4, 8, etc.), so each major division represents a doubling of the numbers.
Exponential growth will look like a rapidly escalating curve on a linear scale but like a straight line on a logarithmic scale (base 10 or base 2 in
these charts). Linear growth will look like a straight line on a linear scale and like a curve approaching a flat horizontal line on an exponential
Charts 3, 4, and 5 are historical projections that would be most likely if nothing changed to slow or stop the spread. Until recently, reported cases
and deaths followed these projections closely, but reported numbers are finally dipping below these historical projections. That may be temporary, or
it may be due to problems in collecting or reporting data, or it may be a real improvement that will continue.
Charts 4B-4E and 5B-5E include more recently updated projections. For charts with color coded ranges, the green ranges are the projection if the
spread continues as it has over recent weeks. The darker green in the lower part of some ranges would be expected if the spread continues to trend
away from exponential growth toward linear growth (toward the bottom of the shaded areas).
The yellow range would be expected if the trend goes back to spreading at previous faster rates. And the red range would be expected if it starts
growing again at the worst rates experienced so far during this epidemic.
Charts 7-8 were discontinued quite a while back.
Charts 9-12 were merged previously, and the combined chart shows monthly new cases and deaths reported.
Charts 13-14B show cumulative cases and deaths by country.
Chart 15 shows how many days it has taken for the cumulative number of cases to double over time. Higher points in the chart are good, they mean it
is taking longer to double. Lower points are bad, they mean it is doubling faster. Previously cases doubled every 3 to 4 weeks. Currently, cases
are doubling in about 8 weeks according to reported numbers. This may also indicate the spread is no longer exponential.
The charts do not include the Congo, as that was allegedly an unrelated outbreak and it has been declared over.
These charts rely on 'official' reported numbers and can only be as accurate as thatdata. Reported Ebola data is subject to change as cases and
deaths are reclassified, or as data sources or reporting methods change. I do not know how accurate 'official' reported numbers are, but there are
a number of possible issues:
1. WHO,the CDC, Doctors Without Borders (MSF), etc. have in the past stated that actual cases and deaths "vastly" outnumber reported figures,
possibly by at least 2 to 5 times.
2. There have recently been sudden large decreases in officially reported cases and deaths as well as a large increase in reported deaths that was
then taken away. It is unclear whether decreases represent improvements. The decreases and increase may all be due to an inability to keep up with
data tracking and recording.
3. Many countries have clamped down on Ebola news. At least one journalist has been arrested and at least one newspaper has been closed in west
Africa. In the USA, an 'Ebola Czar' with a reputation as a political/public relations 'fixer' (and with no medical experience) was appointed to
lead the US Ebola effort.
4. There are theories regarding Ebola that differ from the 'official' reports. Some believe there is no such thing as Ebola or that what is
spreading is not Ebola. Some believe there is no outbreak at all. Some believe people are purposely being infected for economic or depopulation
plans. I do not know if there is any truth to any of these beliefs, it can be a strange world.
The same disclaimers and references apply to all of these charts:
Charts and future projections were done by me, not by WHO, except in cases where it is stated that a chart includes WHO projections. I am not an
Ebola expert, epidemiologist, virologist, or MD, but I manually compiled the data used to create these graphs from news updates on the following
SOURCE: WHO website 1
SOURCE: WHO website 2
SOURCE: WHO website 3
SOURCE: WHO website 4
SOURCE: WHO website 5
SOURCE: CDC website 1
SOURCE: The New England Journal of Medicine
SOURCE: Guinea Situation Reports (posted on
[NOTE: Situation Reports from Guinea are in French.]
SOURCE: Liberia Situation Reports
Mali Ministry of Sanitation and Hygiene
[NOTE: Situation Reports from Mali are in French.]
SOURCE: Sierra Leone Situation Reports
Please do not do anything you might regret based on charts or projections. Hopefully efforts to contain, quarantine, treat, prevent, or cure Ebola
will eventually be successful, and hopefully sooner rather than later.