US warns that Ebola could infect 1.4 million
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. health officials Tuesday laid out worstcase and best-case scenarios for the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, warning that the number of infected people could explode to at least 1.4 million by mid-January — or the outbreak could be almost over by then, if control efforts are ramped up.
The widely varying projections by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were based on conditions in late August and do not take into account a recent international surge in medical aid for the stricken region. That burst has given health authorities reason for some optimism.
“I’m confident the most dire projections are not going to come to pass,” CDC chief Dr. Tom Frieden said in releasing the report.
About 5,800 illnesses and over 2,800 deaths have been counted since the first cases were reported six months ago. But international health authorities have warned that the crisis is probably far worse in reality, with many corpses and infected people hidden or unreported.