While the ongoing Ebola outbreak continues to be of very great concern, there is some good news concerning cases outside Africa. In the chart below (updated from my past post), circles represent evacuated medical or other personnel, while squares represent other cases, including the three nurses infected by caring for patients (also, recovered patients are shown in green, and deaths in black):
Teresa Romero, the Spanish nurse, appears to be virus-free and recovering (hopefully the two US nurses will also recover quickly!). The chart also shows that (outside Africa):
- there appears to have been no transmission outside the hospital context (no family members or casual contacts have been identified as infected so far – in particular, Thomas Duncan’s fiancée was not infected); and
- transmission within the hospital context has occurred only when treating fatal cases of Ebola, and then only with two specific patients (and it seems that better protective clothing would have prevented transmission in those cases too).
While it is a terrible disease, Ebola does not seem to be as infectious as some people in the US fear.
In other good news, Nigeria is officially Ebola-free. However, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone are still seeing a total of 100 or more new cases each day. Help is still urgently needed there, as this map by Mikael Häggström highlights: