Wed | Aug 15, 2018


Published:Wednesday | October 15, 2014 | 12:00 AM

The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history. The latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO) is that there are now approximately 9,000 cases, with a death toll of nearly 4,500, mostly in West Africa.

The 1976 outbreak in Sudan had 284 cases, with a death toll of 53 per cent. Months later, in Zaire, 318 persons were infected, with the disease killing 90 per cent of its victims.

The death rate in this recent Ebola outbreak has now been raised to 70 per cent, up from 50 per cent. The 1976 outbreak had a fatality rate of 90 per cent.

For the last four weeks, there have been about 1,000 new cases per week. WHO warns this will increase to 10,000 per week by December.

Scientists are now calculating that based on Ebola's spread patterns and airline traffic data, by October 24, there is a 75 per cent chance that the virus could reach France, and a 50 per cent probability of it reaching Britain.