Evening Ebola Update, Thurs, 11/20: Food emergency in March/S.L. EBOV exponential/No accurate math model for Liberia   Leave a comment

11/20/14

Dear Colleagues:

l.  ACAPS is a consortium of humanitarian organizations which publishes briefings on world humanitarian crises.  ACAPS has released a briefing on food insecurity in SIerra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia as a result of the EBOV epidemic.  Food emergencies with develop for families of EBOV patients and families living within EBOV affected areas by March, 2015, according to ACAPS. The rest of the populations in these 3 countries will be in food crises by March, 2015.

2.  Pope Francis delivered a speech today in Rome to 107 political leaders about food insecurity in the world.  As always, Pope Francis did not mince words.  See a report on the speech at:  http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/266831/icode/ Populations in West Africa spend between 50%-80% of their household income on food, and now unemployment is very high and food prices are continuing to rise.  WHO reports that 1 of every 2 Liberians employed prior to the EBOV epidemic is now without a job.  See the ACAPS briefing at: http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/b-acaps-bn-west-africa-ebola-impact-on-food-security-11-nov-2014.pdf. 

3.  Ebola Deeply reports the EBOV epidemic in Sierra Leone continues to grow at an exponential rate.  Forty three cases were reported yesterday; 17 cases were from urban areas.  The estimation isolation rate in Sierra Leone is only 13%.  The CDC has revised its worst case scenario for Sierra Leone to 1.4 million EBOV cases by January, 2015.  Also, infighting between Liberian officials has produced breaks in coordination, and sick Liberians are leaving the cities for the rural areas as a result.

4.  PLoS Current Outbreaks publishes on line today an article by Chowell, et. al, (from NIH and ASU0) re: whether the EBOV epidemic in Liberia is increasing catastrophically or slowing down.  The article compares the mathematical models used to project EBOV cases in Liberia. The take-home point is that the more accurate models account for changes in the population at risk over time (as isolation and treatment measures take place).  See the Chowell, et. al. article at: http://currents.plos.org/outbreaks/article/is-west-africa-approaching-a-catastrophic-phase-or-is-the-2014-ebola-epidemic-slowing-down-different-models-yield-different-answers-for-Liberia/  With Liberian officials arguing and health systems there broken, any mathematical model is likely inaccurate today.

RGL, MD

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Posted November 20, 2014 by levittrg in Ebola

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