Tags: Ebola Outbreak | Homeland Security | epidemic | mathematical | model | predict

Study: Ebola Outbreak May Be Much Worse Than Reported

By    |   Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 06:42 PM

There may be no way to predict how far the latest Ebola epidemic will go, a new study suggests.

The news website Ozy reports that the study was published last month in eLife journal and concludes that the mathematical model that's been used to track the scale of past outbreaks doesn't apply to this Ebola epidemic.

"We're in uncharted waters," study author Thomas House, a research fellow at the University of Warwick Mathematics Institute, told the website. "The scale of this outbreak is much larger than any seen before, so it's very hard to predict."

At least 4,877 people have died in the world's worst recorded outbreak of Ebola, and at least 9,936 cases of the disease had been recorded as of Oct. 19, the World Health Organizationsaid Wednesday, Reuters reports.

But the WHO has said real numbers of cases are thought to be much higher, with an estimated toll of almost 15,000.

In the University of Warwick study, House analyzed the number of cases, deaths, and other data from the 24 Ebola outbreaks the WHO has reported since the virus first was noted in Sudan in 1976, and then designed a mathematical model to track each outbreak's scale, Ozy reports.

Plugging key "chance event" data for each outbreak into House's model yielded its eventual scale — but not the scale of the current outbreak to date, which is spreading much faster than the model predicts, Ozy reports.

"The most likely thing to see is doubling if we do nothing else," a pattern not seen in past outbreaks, House said. In a worst-case scenario, the doubling progresses until only those who have recovered from or are less susceptible to the disease remain.

But for a disease as deadly as Ebola, "we hope there's an intervention to stop things before that happens," House told Ozy.

House says the unprecedented scale of the current outbreak compared to earlier outbreaks means it's less likely to be driven by chance events.

"Something fundamental" is different about this outbreak, he said.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
Newsfront
There may be no way to predict how far the latest Ebola epidemic will go, a new study suggests. The news website Ozy reports that the study was published last month in eLife journal, and concludes that the mathematical model that's been used to . . .
epidemic, mathematical, model, predict
335
2014-42-22
Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 06:42 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved