Ebola in Africa: Small world effects

24/09/2014

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In case anyone missed it the Ebola outbreak in Africa is now into the ‘explosive’ phase of the classic logistics growth curve, see this article from New Scientist for more details. For small world perspective on pandemics see my earlier post on the H1N1 outbreak.

Here in the west we get all the rhetoric about Islamic State as an existential threat but little to nothing about the big E, even though this epidemic will undoubtedly kill more people than that bunch of crazies ever will. Ebola doesn’t hate us for who we are, but it’ll damn well kill a lot of people regardless.

Another worrying thought is that the more cases, the more generations of the disease clock over and the more chance there is for a much worse variant to emerge that’s got global legs. We’ve been gruesomely lucky to date that Ebola is so nasty, because it tends too burn out before going to far, but that can change ver quickly. This is a small world, and what happens inside a village in West Africa actually matters to people in London, Paris, Sydney or Moscow. Were I PM that’s where I’d be sending assistance, not back into the cauldron of the Middle East…