|The number of Ebola cases in West Africa could reach 1.4 million by the end of January if trends continue without an immediate and massive scale-up in response, according to a new estimate by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. |
The report released Tuesday is a tool the agency has developed to help with efforts to slow transmission of the epidemic and estimate the potential number of future cases. Researchers say the total number of cases is vastly underreported by a factor of 2.5 in Sierra Leone and Liberia, two of the three hardest-hit countries. Using this correction factor, researchers estimate that approximately 21,000 total cases will have occurred in Liberia and Sierra Leone by Sept. 30. Reported cases in those two countries are doubling approximately every 20 days, researchers said.