By SHEPARD AMBELLAS
It looks as if Americans may need to brace themselves as an Ebola pandemic on U.S. soil may soon be a reality
Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and Nigeria have been hardest hit by what has been dubbed the worst Ebola outbreak in world history. In fact as of August 20, 2014, there have been 2615 confirmed cases, which likely pale in comparison to the number of unconfirmed cases.
The report also concluded that the risk of Ebola spread to other countries is “moderate” and that the current outbreak must be “contained” sooner rather than later.
The report’s conclusions were published on plos.org as follows:
We show by a modeling effort informed by data available on the 2014WA EVD outbreak that the risk of international spread of the Ebola virus is still moderate for most of the countries. The current analysis however shows that if the outbreak is not contained, the probability of international spread is going to increase consistently, especially if other countries are affected and are not able to contain the epidemic. It is important to stress that the presented modeling analysis has been motivated by the need for a rapid assessment of the EVD outbreak trends and contains assumptions and approximations unavoidable with the current lack of data from the region. The results may change as more information becomes available from the EVD affected region and more refined sensitivity analysis can be implemented computationally. Furthermore, the modeling approach does not include scenarios for the identification and isolation of cases, the quarantine of contacts, and the proper precautions in hospital and funeral preparation that would be relevant in discussing optimal containment strategies. Such a modeling effort however calls for better and more detailed data not available at the moment.