Mar 23, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

Yale researchers forebode "Ebola epidemic explosion may take place mid-December 2014"

Oct 24, 2014 04:36 PM EDT

Drastic measures have been made by the international community since the onslaught of the ebola virus in three hard-hit West African countries, namely Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. The world was almost in a panic, looking for information, clamoring for cure, treatment, and even a vaccine to curb the spread of the disease. Ebola has been effectively managed in the U.S, Spain, and Nigeria, but the number of affected individuals in West Africa continues to rise.

And this will continue to take place-with ebola spreading in epic proportions with massive destruction by mid-December 2014-- according to a group of researchers from the Yale University. This is if no urgent action would be taken, especially by international communities to the West African countries.

The team composed of seven Yale-based scientists developed a mathematical transmission model of the disease and applied it to Montserrado, Liberia's most populous county and an area already hard hit. Their calculations led to the ominous forecast before the end of 2014: Montserrado County will have more than 170,000 cases of Ebola which is 12 percent of its population -- and more than 90,000 deaths if the epidemic "continues on its present course," the researchers said.

Alison Galvani, professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health and senior author of the study said, "Our predictions highlight the rapidly closing window of opportunity for controlling the outbreak and averting a catastrophic toll of new Ebola cases and deaths in the coming months. Although we might still be within the midst of what will ultimately be viewed as the early phase of the current outbreak, the possibility of averting calamitous repercussions from an initially delayed and insufficient response is quickly eroding,"

The figures could decrease though, according to the group, if the international community steps up control measures starting October 31. Among the needed aide in Liberia and other affected countries are better diagnosis, treatment, and prevention efforts, which include ebola treatment center beds, increased speed in diagnosing the disease, and protective kits distributed to households with infected family members. With these, some 97,940 cases of the disease could be avoided, the team said.

To add hope, the team said, "even if international interventions were to be delayed until November 15, about 54,000 new cases in Montserrado County might still be averted."

The world seems to be on its guard for possible repercussions brought by the ebola epidemic. Interventions are being made, with pharmaceutical companies joining hands in coming up with possible treatment and prevention of ebola; countries like the U.S adding new policies for visitors coming from ebola-affected countries; Canada conducting drills to test its newly-created Ebola rapid response team; and the WHO calling for continuous meetings for updates and solutions for the illness; and financial aides from international corporations and organizations, among others. Concerted effort from among the international community is needed to prevent Yale researchers' foreboding from taking place a few months from now.

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