The findings in this report underscore the substantial public health challenges posed by the predicted number of future Ebola cases,” the researchers wrote. “If conditions continue without scale-up of interventions, cases will continue to double approximately every 20 days, and the number of cases in West Africa will rapidly reach extraordinary levels.”
They also said their assumptions may not fully account for sick patients who are turned away from treatment centers that don’t have any spare beds. That suggests the number of underreported cases could be even higher.
Comfort Doe died outside the JFK Medical Center in Monrovia, Liberia amid confusion regarding her diagnosis. While Ebola health workers decontaminated her body, Doe’s family maintained she died from complications of diabetes. (Ashoka Mukpo and Divya Jeswani Verma/The Washington Post)
CDC Director Tom Frieden cautioned that the estimates in the report don’t take into account actions taken or planned since August by the United States and the international community.
“We anticipate that these actions will slow the spread of the epidemic,” he said in a statement. The estimates in the report are based on data from August and “reflect a moment in time before recent significant increases in efforts to improve treatment and isolation.”