This chart presents an estimate for how long it takes Ebola to become symptomatic, given various levels of the number of viruses entering the body. The virus’s doubling time is about eighteen hours, and at that rate it takes about thirteen days before the first fever strikes. A person infected with a large number of viruses, because they touched some virus-laden bodily fluids and then touched their own eyes, nose, mouth or open skin irritation, would display symptoms in only four days.
Until a person is displaying symptoms they are exuding very few viruses, because the viruses only survive in a wet environment. However, when they are feverish, vomiting or having diarrhea they are exuding large numbers of viruses, and when they are dead their body is still being consumed by the viruses and is still presenting huge numbers of diseased viruses. That is why the funeral practices where the survivors touch the body put them at risk of contracting the disease.
This chart demonstrates why it is necessary to track people who have been exposed to Ebola viruses. Even a single virus can cause the disease, but it takes many days before it manifests any symptoms. People who are working with sick patients should be tracked carefully, and the easiest way to do this is by issuing a cell phone and a thermometer to them and then phoning them a few times per day. They should be told when issued the cell phone that they will be treated for any disease they contract in the next thirty days free of charge. There will be people who contract some disease and fail to mention it, but when they can not answer their phone, or refuse to do so, a person can be sent to the cell phone’s location. This procedure should discover nearly all victims, and only costs the price of a cell phone and thermometer.
Ebola is a disease that can be totally eliminated from the human population, and usually it remains gone until it is reintroduced from some wild animal source. Since it has entered populated areas it has become more difficult to isolate, but that must be done. There isn’t much danger of it getting totally out of control in advanced countries with fully functioning health care systems, but in those densely populated areas with poor medical facilities there could be a massive outbreak. Any major city slum anywhere in the world is presently at risk, and so this disease must be eliminated quickly as possible. Until it is, a disaster is lurking for billions of people.