Medical experts attempting to get a fix on magnitude of the Ebola crisis here in the U.S. say there could be as many as 130 new cases by the end of December. According to the Associated Press:
[S]cientists have made educated guesses based on data models that weigh hundreds of variables, including daily new infections in West Africa, airline traffic worldwide and transmission possibilities.
[S]everal top infectious disease experts ran simulations … that predicted as few as one or two additional infections by the end of 2014 to a worst-case scenario of 130.
David Relman, a professor of infectious disease, microbiology and immunology at Stanford University’s medical school, told the news service, “I don’t think there’s going to be a huge outbreak here, no. However, as best we can tell right now, it is quite possible that every major city will see at least a handful of cases.”
Until now, projections published in top medical journals by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control [and Prevention] have focused on worst-case scenarios for West Africa, concluding that cases in the U.S. will be episodic, but minimal. But they have declined to specify actual numbers.
[…] So far, eight Ebola patients have been treated in the U.S. and one has died. Six became infected in West Africa: three doctors, a nurse, an NBC News cameraman and Thomas Eric Duncan, the first to arrive undiagnosed and the first to die. He was cared for at a Dallas hospital, where two of his nurses were also infected.
The latest possible case of Ebola to arrive on these shores is a woman who arrived in Portland, Ore., this past week from Liberia. According to Oregon Live, the woman was self-monitoring until midday Friday, when she presented with a temperature of 102 and was rushed to Providence Milwaukie Hospital. There she is being kept in isolation and tested for the disease.
Dave Underriner, regional chief executive for Providence Health & Services, is quoted as saying:
We had hoped this wouldn’t happen. We’ve done a lot of work to prepare for an Ebola case.
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