Ebola epidemic update

Today a new and more extensive WHO W. Africa ebola update was released, including data current as of Sept. 14, four days ago. I’ve therefore compiled new tables, and case and death rates. The new code and graphs are here, and the new data table is here. Liberia-specific graphs are here.

There’s been a slight drop in the transmission rate, based on these data. The daily rate is now estimated at about 1.038 (down from 1.043 a month ago). The 6-12 day rates, which correspond roughly with the estimate of R_zero, the per person rate of infection (depending on the mean infectiousness period, in days), range from 1.25 to 1.57. The midpoint value is 1.41. See here and here for my methodology.

It is almost certain that cases are going unreported however, and it could be many, I don’t know. These estimates are therefore underestimates of the true rate, and hence the severity of the outbreak. And this kind of thing is certainly tragic and not helping the situation.

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6 thoughts on “Ebola epidemic update

  1. Hi Jim,

    Have you seen this well written story in Vanity Fair:

    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/2014/10/ebola-virus-epidemic-containment#

    I found the apparent pause in infections in Conakry due to people loosing faith in the medical establishment particularly poignant (but I did remember that this is journalism and not necessarily strictly true).

    MSF just reported their first case of Ebola – the first in 30 years of helping to fight the disease – which is very disturbing too.

    • Thanks for that link Dave, I had not seen it. I’ve not read much in the last 7-10 days I’m afraid.

      Sorry to hear about the MSF worker. As far as I can tell, without MSF this whole situation would be 10X worse than it is. These people are heroes of the highest order.

  2. International health experts here had no explanation for the striking discrepancy between the government’s tally of the dead in the capital and the cemetery crew’s statistics. Several of them noted the general confusion surrounding official statistics here from the beginning, with one leading international health official saying: “We don’t know exactly what is going on.”

    Fresh Graves Point to Undercount of Ebola Toll
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/23/world/africa/23ebola.html

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