Thursday 19 June 2014

West African Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak flares up in late May and in early June...[UPDATED]

Data are based on WHO DONs. Lines use the numbers on the vertical  axis on the left, bars use the right hand axis. The percentages are the proportion of fatal cases at the time point indicated.
Click on chart to enlarge.
The chart tells a pretty grim story of an outbreak that has flared up, after what looked like some weeks of things settling down. I'd said I would stop charting this outbreak back at 5-May, unless anything major happened. Well it did. In late May in Guinea and then in early June in Sierra Leone.

The causes seem to be the heartbreaking stories of family members sequestering ill loved ones or removing them from isolation wards, and in so doing, getting infected themselves, and so spreading infection.

Click on image to enlarge.
Maps purchased from maptorian and adapted by VDU
The adjacent map has been updated to help communicate an idea of the number of cases in each country.

The number of cases and deaths, not all of which are laboratory confirmed as being ebolavirus disease (EVD), are now the highest of any known outbreak of EVD (see the chart below). A grisly fact and one that doesn't change anything. But one I note nonetheless. Also worthy of note is that throughout this outbreak, the proportion of fatal cases (PFC; check the disclaimer in the legend below) has not reached the heights of the Zaire outbreak of 1976, or the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) outbreak of 1995, or that in the Republic of Congo (RC) during 2002-3, and others. So that's a small silver lining.
A guide to confirmed EVD cases and those who died from EVD over time.
The data for the non-West Africa-2014 outbreaks, sourced from Public Health England website [1], are defined as "confirmed". Not all of the Wet Africa-2014-related clinical cases or deaths have been laboratory confirmed so these bars are probably a little high (highlighted in the key). Note that looking at proportions alone can be confusing. For example, if 1 of 1 cases is fatal, that's a PFC of 100% but it may not reflect the situation accurately. So please interpret the grey mountains alongside the read and blue bars to get the complete picture. DRC-Democratic Republic of Congo; RC-Republic of Congo
Click on chart to enlarge.

I'll try and keep the charts up-to-date as this outbreak continues to burn. 


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