From [HERE] The Ebola outbreak in West Africa could infect 20,000 people as soon as early November unless rigorous infection control measures are implemented, and might "rumble on" for years in a holding pattern, researchers said on Tuesday.
In an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Imperial College said that infections will continue climbing exponentially unless patients are isolated, contacts traced and communities enlisted.
The WHO, in an initial roadmap issued on Aug. 28, predicted that the virus could strike 20,000 people within the next nine months. The current death toll is at least 2,811 out of 5,864 cases, according to United Nations figures.
The latest study, marking six months from March 23, when the WHO said it was informed of the Ebola outbreak in southeastern Guinea, reflects projections based on the data from a third wave of the virus in Guinea, Sierra Leone and worst-hit Liberia.
"With exponential growth, you'll see that the case numbers per week go up so that by the second of November, over these three countries our best estimate is over 20,000 cases, confirmed and suspected cases," Dr. Christopher Dye, director of strategy at the WHO, and co-author of article, said in a briefing.
Nearly 10,000 of those infected would be in Liberia, 5,000 in Sierra Leone and nearly 6,000 in Guinea, he said. But those numbers would only come about with no enhanced infection control. [MORE]