Ebola rates, updated

Latest data from the WHO on the W. Africa Ebola outbreak (report of 09-18-14; data therein as of 09-14-14). For data table go here, and for R code generating data and graphs go here.

Reporting issues are likely responsible for the large fluctuations in the raw data, hence the loess smoothing (dark line) for a better approximation of the true rates. See here for a more in depth discussion of this issue.
Ebola case recent rates 2q
Ebola death recent rates 2q

14 thoughts on “Ebola rates, updated

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  6. Thanks again for the charts. It seems you are the only person on the internet plotting this outbreak, kind of astonishing given the significance.

    Would you venture an extrapolation at this point? I read your explanation of the data and your methodology but you fell short of forward guidance. Do you have enough data at this point to venture a prediction of where we will be in say 120 days at the current rate of acceleration?


    • What’ even more astonishing is that neither the WHO nor the CDC can seem to be bothered to just collate the case and death data into a simple database on a spreadsheet, such that people like me and whoever’s writing the Wikipedia article have to do it.

      It’s very easy to predict the case and death rates at given future time points if you assume the infection rates over the last 2-3 months will hold into the future. However, since this is such a huge assumption, I don’t do it. My view, limited as it is, is that behavioral changes and awareness can potentially change rapidly in response to a new (to that region) and highly virulent disease. Whether they actually will or not, is of course another story, very unpredictable.

      If the region-wide, per-day infection spread rate of 1.043 held for 120 days into the future, that would bring the region to over 7800 new cases per day. Given even a mortality rate of 53% (I think it’s actually closer to 67% but that’s what they’re saying officially), probably only an intense international effort would be able to handle such a situation.

  7. FYI, WHO keeps moving its data reporting around its site. I’ve recently found updated data – as of 9/6/14 and 9/5/14 – here:


    Note that these reports only include the “big three” hotspot countries, not Senegal or Nigeria.

    It is stunning that the number of cases has doubled–from an already high base–in just the last 24 days (as of the 9/6/14 data).

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