originally posted by: soficrow
a reply to: ikonoklast
I think we can rely on the fatality rate the numbers indicate - but nothing else. There simply is not enough manpower anywhere in West Africa
to identify, catalogue and report suspected cases - never mind manpower and facilities needed to bed and treat patients. There are no accessible
hospitals or clinics for most West Africans - no one to test and diagnose, no one to report cases.
I definitely agree with your assessment above.
WHO just released an update
I know you need to rely on the WHO stats - but I really think my projections are more realistic/accurate. Based on a reported doubling period
of 34.8 days:
1. The WHO's estimate that unreported cases bring the end-August total to 12,000 cases, cases would rise to 384,000 cases within 6 months and
24,576,000 cases after a year.
2. Realistically, the actual case total is probably closer to 20,000 already. If that's true, then by 6 months the case total will be 640,000 and by
one year - 40,960,000 cases.
. As of August 31, 2014, they say that there are 3685 cases and
I presume the 12,000 estimate is based on WHO's previous statements that their number may only be at most 25% of the actual numbers. If 25% is
correct, the actual total cases would be about 14,740. But it's not a far stretch to imagine that the actual number of cases may be 20,000 already.
It would mean that reported cases would be 18.4% of actual, and that is quite possible I think, there's just no way to know.
......but as you have said - the doubling period is actually MUCH shorter. [Did you say 23 days?]
Between August 1st and August 26th, cases doubled on average every 28 days. Based on the numbers released today, it doubled again in 22 days.
As scary as it may be, your projections could actually be low.
Some very big IF's:
IF WHO's guesstimate that reported cases are only 25% of actual numbers is correct and
IF nothing changes to slow the rate of the outbreak spreading and
IF you assume a doubling rate of every 1 month (it's actually doubling faster)
THEN that would be 943,360 cases in 6 months and in 12 months that would be 60,375,040 cases
Perhaps scarier is that even going by WHO's reported numbers, this only means it would take 4 months longer (10 months and 16 months, respectively)
to hit those numbers if it continues to double every month.
Hopefully either it will be contained or an effective treatment or vaccine will be available in sufficient quantities and this will not happen.
On a sidenote, I was wondering what it was that limited the Spanish Flu epidemic in the early 20th century. I assumed it might be that it finally
killed off everyone who was susceptible to getting it that bad. But I just happened to see a mention on TV that said it's suspected the Spanish Flu
mutated to the point where it was no longer harmful to humans. I don't know if that's true or not though.