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Links to a history of Probaway’s [EBOLA UPDATES] As hideous as Ebola is and as horrible as the straight-line logarithmic projections look for the coming year, it isn’t as bad as some things that have fallen on humanity. If the efforts to stop this deadly disease are successful in the next few months it won’t impact humanity greatly, but if it isn’t contained by April next year it may go unchecked until it runs its natural course. That could happen, and if it does it will be the greatest disaster ever. The reason is that if everyone is exposed and catches it, and half die, that would be three billion people. That is not impossible, and the bubonic plague may have killed half of the world’s population by about 1350. The figures are very vague, but there were vast numbers of people killed. These days we have better means of coping with disease, and apparently the transmission is well known and thus easily avoided. The present Ebola strain requires direct contact with bodily fluids from a very sick person, so that is easily avoided, except for family members and medical staff. The recent Hajj to Mecca by many Africans and their mixing with two million people may be a turning point for humanity.

Ebola compared to - Plague, Flu, AIDS, Yellow Turban, Mongols, Timur, Tiaping WW 2,

Ebola cases and deaths compared to major historical diseases and wars.

Logarithmic charts are good for showing biological growth, which is how Ebola behaves, and we humans are now its food. To bring Ebola infections back to zero requires every example of it residing in humans to be destroyed. This disease has a wild reservoir, possibly in bats or primates, and every few years there is a single transfer to humans. If that transfer is in a remote village, many of those people die, and the disease dies with them, but in this case the disease has spread to larger cities and people are infecting other people. Presently there are over seven billion people on Earth, so the disease has plenty of population to infect if it gets the chance. The sooner it is totally stopped the better, because it only takes a single case to get it going again. Presently there are about seven thousand known cases, and that is difficult, but if the straight-line logarithmic projections above are accurate, by April there could be seven million cases, and that would probably make it impossible to stop, and the disease would run its course.

The chart above gives some perspective on the disasters that have come to humanity. There are many more, but these are the worst ones. They are derived from List of Wars and Anthropogenic disasters by death toll, on Wikipedia and a List of epidemics. The oldest one listed on the chart is the Yellow Turban War ending in 205, which killed 3 million people, but there were only 250 million people in the world at that time, so for comparison with the present 7 billion people they are divided by 250 million and we get a multiplier of 28 times as many people now as then. So a dotted line is placed on the chart representing the relative deaths today compared to those of that ancient war, and that gives almost 100 million. The number used in the calculation was the lowest given in the List of Wars; if the highest had been used it would be 196 million. These are dreadful numbers, but by looking at the chart it is easy to see they have been greatly exceeded by the Plague in 1450 and by the voluntary actions of the Mongol invasions, and Tamerlane, and by involuntary diseases like the flu of 1920.

The authorities tell us not to panic, that this disease is being controlled, but the only time a disease like this one is under control is when it is totally stopped, and gone, and at present it is still on the logarithmic growth line. I posted last week some things that can be done to slow and eventually stop this disease. How to prevent Ebola, the common cold and infectious disease.

Links to a history of Probaway’s [EBOLA UPDATES]