Thursday, 18 December 2014

Ebola double vision is clearing...

A quick follow up from my post in October entitled "Ebola double vision".

I've adjusted that graph and it adds another view of how the Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic is, in terms of overall case numbers, showing consistent signs of slowing. 

The time it takes for the case total to double (the doubling time) has stretched out from doubling every month or so, to taking about a month and a half to double.

But far from breathing a sigh of relief, the numbers in Guinea, which have never appeared consistently under control, and the still very high numbers in Sierra Leone, highlight that the epidemic is not yet leashed and the need remains for continued vigilance and more of the same hard and risky work being done by those in and around the region. In Liberia, the country that supplied the highest proportion of EVD cases leading up right up until this month, case numbers were down to just 75 in the previous week (reporting week #38). For context, that's still higher than the total of about 15 past outbreaks since 1976. And of course, this entire epidemic started from just 1 case. 100% of infected people need to be isolated and looked after (hydrated given pain relief and antibiotics among other things), 100% of burials need to be safe, and 100% of contacts need to be traced. That represents a huge task ahead of the stalwart healthcare, aid and many other support workers who have been facing Ebola virus every day for months and months.

The time between total case doublings.
For 4 doublings in a row it took a month or so, but the most
recent doubling took 44-days. 

Click on image to enlarge.