IMHO, many cases and deaths have not been included in these numbers because they occurred in areas without the infrastructure to count them, or were hidden. Still the rate of increase in cases is chilling and tells me we have likely lost the battle to contain this epidemic. From the BBC:Cumulative deaths – up to 5 September
Only going up
The stories of healthcare workers being stretched beyond breaking point are countless.
A lack of basic protective gear such as gloves has been widely reported.
The charity Medecins Sans Frontieres has an isolation facility with 160 beds in Monrovia. But it says the queues are growing and they need another 800 beds to deal with the number of people who are already sick.
This is not a scenario for containing an epidemic, but fuelling one.
Dr Dye’s tentative forecasts are grim: “At the moment we’re seeing about 500 new cases each week. Those numbers appear to be increasing.
“I’ve just projected about five weeks into the future and if current trends persist we would be seeing not hundreds of cases per week, but thousands of cases per week and that is terribly disturbing.
“The situation is bad and we have to prepare for it getting worse.”
The World Health Organization is using an educated guess of 20,000 cases before the end, in order to plan the scale of the response.
But the true potential of the outbreak is unknown and the WHO figure has been described to me as optimistic by some scientists…