Sunday, January 20, 2019
January Ebola Update
Just checking in, nothing really major.
TL;DR: Same-same, trending to really bad eventually.
But it's been 21 days since my last update, so here's where it stands:
They've now vaccinated over 60,000 people in the area of DRC overrun with Ebola.
That, and that alone, is the only reason the outbreak there is still "only" into triple digits, instead of being the West Africa Ebola Outbreak of 2014, and racking up tens of thousands. Those vaccinated represent the 60,000 victims who would have probably been in the infected and dead tally now, except the experimental vaccine appears to work pretty flawlessly, AFAWK.
Despite that one small sliver of hope, per the latest (14 January 2019) WHO report, they've had an additional 100+ cases (a 20% total increase in 3 weeks), the suspected cases now become confirmed with near 100% certainty in a week or two, the actual kill ratio (dead now versus infected 21 days ago) is still running at 75%, not the happy-gas 60% number which they (WHO and Wikistupidia) keep putting out, despite knowing that the disease doesn't kill people instantly, but takes 2-3 weeks or so to do the job, and the areas that are listed as the longest number of days with the fewest new reported cases are also the ones where the health workers have been chased out by armed militias, no one's tracking contacts there because they cannot, the treatment centers have been burned, and bodies of victims have been stolen back from quarantine by relatives for the traditional let's-rub-our-hands-on-Grandpa's-Ebola-festered-corpse funeral preparations.
In short, the data is best there because it's missing entirely.
Africa wins again.
Meanwhile, the newest case is in an area 50 miles west of the furthest spread before now, IOW their half-assed Congolese quarantine and travel checkpoint scheme is working about like you'd expect (i.e. not at all), and so this is spreading towards the megapolii in the interior of the country, and should pop up in a major international city any time in the next couple of months, unless the universe shows a level of concern for our species hitherto absent for several billion years.
The only other happy news is that the bordering countries, under no illusions how bad Ebola would be, have instituted pretty draconian restrictions where they can, and the outbreak is slackening in the eastern border regions somewhat.
Unfortunately, that temporary slackening could be undone by even one infected person from the hotter zones hopping in a cab, or driving a truck there, or taking a walk through the jungle off the paved roads, and starting the fire anew overnight, which no one will know about for 10-21 days, when the new case finally hits the tracker map.
In short, the whole central African clown show continues to keep festering along, until it hits some target-rich environment, and gets out of the bottle again. Like it does.
At current course and speed, we hit a Level 10 on the 34-Level Ebola Panic Meter by end of February.
Concerning (still) but not really a big deal.
I remain confident that WHO and DRC can manage to royally f**k humanity yet, and turn this into another true pandemic catastrophe, but clearly the vaccine is hampering their usual incompetence to a very small degree.
Enjoy that while it lasts.
If we assume the people getting vaccinated are definitionally the luckier/smarter percentage, perhaps Ebola can cull the stupid 10%, and burn itself out, before it takes ahold in even more populous teeming slums in the bigger cities. Those would be the ones with international airports.