The Trajectory of Ebola and our Response

Part of the Global Forecast 2015

Ebola in West Africa is a modern plague, unlike anything we have seen. In less than a year since the epidemic reportedly began, President Obama, the UN Security Council, World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Margaret Chan, and others have declared the epidemic a grave threat to security in Africa and beyond—including the United States. By late October, there were 10,000 confirmed cases, and over 5,000 deaths in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. (The largest previous outbreak, in Gulu, northern Uganda, in 2000, was 424 cases.) These numbers, thought to represent as little as a quarter of the true scale, are expanding exponentially, doubling every 20 days. By early December, the epidemic is expected to reach 10,000 new cases per week.