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Three weeks: The time Ebola will need to sweep across the world

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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
10/7/2014 (5 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

U.S. researchers warn the body-melting virus will wind its way to developed nations shortly

Twenty-one days, three weeks. That's the amount of time the deadly Ebola virus would take to spread across the globe from the U.S. to China. This is the dire warning offered by American researchers in regards to the horrific, body-melting virus that has already been visited in both Spain and the U.S.

Researchers arrived at a grim prognosis when they figured in flight to and from affected areas when it comes to the spread of Ebola.

Researchers arrived at a grim prognosis when they figured in flight to and from affected areas when it comes to the spread of Ebola.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
10/7/2014 (5 years ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Ebola, flight, developed nations, risk assessment


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In fact, there is a 50 percent chance a traveler carrying the disease could touch down in the U.K. by October 24, a team of U.S. researchers have predicted. Scientists used Ebola spread patterns coupled with airline traffic data in calculating the odds of the virus spreading across the world.

They estimate there is a 75 percent chance Ebola will reach French shores by October 24. Belgium has a 40 percent chance of seeing the disease arrive on its territory. Spain and Switzerland have lower risks of 14 percent each.

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The disease is spreading rapidly across West Africa, with more than 3,400 people known to have died

The disease is spreading rapidly across West Africa, with more than 3,400 people known to have died and 7,500 infected.


The virus is spreading like wildfire across West Africa, with more than 3,400 people known to have died and 7,500 infected. 

Based on air travel remaining at full capacity, these alarming figures are being constantly updated by the researchers. Assuming there is an 80 percent reduction in travel to affected regions, the scientists predict France's risk is still 25 percent, and the U.K.'s is 15 percent. The risks change every day the epidemic continues.
 

Using Ebola spread patterns and airline traffic data a team of U.S. scientists have calculated the o

Using Ebola spread patterns and airline traffic data a team of U.S. scientists have calculated the odds of the virus spreading across the world. Volunteers in Monrovia, Liberia are pictured carrying a man, suspected of having the virus, to a health center in the capital.


"This is not a deterministic list, it's about probabilities - but those probabilities are growing for everyone," Professor Alessandro Vespignani of Northeastern University in Boston, who led the research, said. "It's just a matter of who gets lucky and who gets unlucky.

"Air traffic is the driver.

"But there are also differences in connections with the affected countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone), as well as different numbers of cases in these three countries - so depending on that, the probability numbers change."

A lot of what happens next is largely to chance. "It's really a lottery," Dr. Derek Gatherer, of Lancaster University, an expert in viruses who has been tracking the epidemic, said

"If this thing continues to rage on in West Africa and indeed gets worse, as some people have predicted, then it's only a matter of time before one of these cases ends up on a plane to Europe."

Experts warn the virus could also reach Belgium, Spain and Switzerland within the next three weeks.

Experts warn the virus could also reach Belgium, Spain and Switzerland within the next three weeks.


Nigeria, Senegal and the U.S., where the first case was diagnosed this week have all seen people carrying the hemorrhagic fever virus.

Researchers at Northeastern University, in Boston, calculated the country's most at risk in the short term, are:

    Ghana
    U.K.
    Nigeria
    Gambia
    Ivory Coast
    Belgium
    France
    Senegal
    Morocco
    Mali
    Mauritania
    Guinea Bissau
    U.S.
    Germany
    South Africa
    Kenya

 Study author and expert in viruses who has been tracking the epidemic, Dr Derek Gatherer, of Lanca

Study author and expert in viruses who has been tracking the epidemic, Dr Derek Gatherer, of Lancaster University, said: 'It's really a lottery.' Volunteers are pictured pushing a cart through the streets of Monrovia, Liberia, carrying a suspected victim of the deadly virus to a local health centre +7 Study author and expert in viruses who has been tracking the epidemic, Dr Derek Gatherer, of Lancaster University, said: 'It's really a lottery.' Volunteers are pictured pushing a cart through the streets of Monrovia, Liberia, carrying a suspected victim of the deadly virus to a local health center.

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