(revised Sept. 11, 2014)
Based on currently available information, being reported by WHO and CDC, by the third week of September 2014, there could be as many as 5500 cases of Ebola in West Africa, 11000 by the third week of October, and 22000 by the third week of November. That would imply at least 11000 total deaths by mid-December.
And this may end up being a modest 'best case' scenario.
Yet, this appears to have been foreseen by an expert with first-hand knowledge of the situation as described below.
A Desperate Call for Help
- including these words, 'By June and July, Sierra Leone was becoming the center of the outbreak.
At the government hospital in Kenema, Dr. Sheik Umar Khan was leading the efforts to treat patients and control the epidemic.
But he was desperate for supplies: chlorine for disinfection, gloves, goggles, protective suits, rudimentary sugar and salt solutions to fight dehydration and give patients a chance to survive. Early in July, he emailed friends and former medical school classmates in the United States, asking for their help and sending a spreadsheet listing what he needed, and what he had. Many of the lines in the “available” column were empty.
One of his requests was for body bags: 3,000 adult, 2,000 child.
Before his friends could send the supplies, Dr. Khan contracted Ebola himself. He died on July 29.'
President Obama has recently advised West Africans to use proper protective equipment when dealing with Ebola patients. If they had it they would presumably use it.
Dr. Khan was warning of 5000 potential deaths in just one of the several countries struggling to contain this disease. As of September 7th the estimated total is already roughly 2300 fatalities for five countries.
For an academic risk assessment see http://currents.plos.org/outbreaks/article/assessing-the-international-spreading-risk-associated-with-the-2014-west-african-ebola-outbreak/
Lord Jesus, have mercy! Heal the sick, calm those who are anxious, give wisdom, skill and endurance to all who are looking after the afflicted and to those who are tasked to preserve order in a time of fear and extreme need. Amen.