Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Snapdate: Confirmed Ebola virus disease cases - the end in sight?

I think we're a little bit beyond "jinxing" something by pointing it out, so here is graph of the confirmed Ebola virus disease cases based on the World Health Organization report date (Situation summary or Situation Report), including a basic model to predict when cases may hit zero, if nothing changes.

The P-value for this linear trend model is 0.00067. The standard error = 19.29;R-square = 0.14.
Click on graph to enlarge

I use Tableau Desktop Public Edition v9.0.0 for my graphs these days - and have taken advantage of its inbuilt linear trend model for this chart. This "model" accounts for precisely nothing apart from the trend based on the numbers that are available and have been plotted in this particular way, on this day, near a full moon. 

Reported numbers or outbreaks could flare up tomorrow or dry up overnight. 

I can say that over the past 2 weeks, data from each new summary or report have moved the predicted "end" data closer - from mid-June to now early June.

I am not an expert at modelling or statistics so please just take this at face value. The line suggests that if all things stay the same, we will reach zero considered cases per report around the 3rd of June 2015.

Please let it be so. 

Realistically, we may be heading for another "step down" - followed by a smaller trickle of ongoing cases for some period, ahead of a final push to zero. But there are experts who will know more about this than I.

Once we get to zero, the 42 day count begins.