[Click here] for all of Probaway’s EBOLA posts arranged by date. The recent posts will be at the top.

Ebola update to April 1, 2015

This logarithmic chart updates the cases and deaths from the West Africa Ebola outbreak to April 1, 2015

The downward trend of the Ebola disease is most easily seen in the red C’s = Cases and the black D’s = Deaths placed on the end of each month. There has been a clear trend from roughly 4,000 cases in the month of October 2014, to roughly 400 cases in the month of March 2015. The reason for this improvement isn’t that the disease is becoming more benign; it isn’t. Seasonal flu comes and goes, but Ebola isn’t gone until every case is eliminated.

The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is responding to the terrific efforts of large numbers of volunteers engaged in the very dangerous job of finding and then treating, sick, dying and dead people. On the chart you can see that about 500 health workers have themselves died. This is a terrible job, even without the risk of death, because much of the work must be done inside of humid plastic moon suits in hot tropical temperatures. With a continued massive effort the disease may be eliminated in a few more months, but if it isn’t totally eliminated it can spring back. So the effort must be continued with the priority shifting over to finding every last case. But finding the last few isolated cases of Ebola in a population of millions of people, many of whom are sick with other diseases, is a difficult task.

When the Ebola Virus Disease is eliminated from humans, it would make sense to eliminate it from the probable wild sources. The prime suspect is fruit bats. Eliminating the bats would be nearly impossible, because even if all of the local ones were killed there would be others that would migrate in, and they are likely to be the source of the local bats becoming infected themselves. Also, disturbing a local ecology usually brings about other unexpected negative consequences. Thus, eliminating EVD from the bats themselves would be a better solution. That could be done by vaccinating a large portion of the bats with the vaccines that are being developed with the intent of vaccinating people. That might be done by developing a weakened virus that could be sprayed as a vaporized cloud into bat colonies. This would lower the transmission rate to where the disease would disappear from the bat population. Ebola is already a rare disease and eliminating it from the wild population may be possible.

Ebola may become one of the diseases, like smallpox, that has been intentionally eliminated from the Earth.