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Rapidly mutating Ebola virus would kill 1.2 million people if it goes airborne, expert predicts


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(NaturalNews) There's a chance that the currently circulating Ebola virus could go rogue and become airborne, and a scientist from Michigan State University warns that more than one million people could die as a result.

If Francis Smart's econometric simulation model is accurate, as many as 1.2 million people could lose their lives from an airborne mutation of the disease, the latest in the ongoing outbreak saga sweeping west Africa.

According to Smart, the World Health Organization (WHO) failed to take into account that Ebola could turn airborne when it came up with a prediction of 20,000 infections in six months. The United Nations organization also assumed that massive international aid would arrive in the region back in early August, which never occurred.

Today, the rate of disease spread is escalating rapidly, and a number of different predictive models say Ebola has reached exponential growth. It is anyone's guess, in other words, how many people will become infected, especially if anything should change in terms of how the disease is spreading.

"This [estimate of 20,000] assumes full international backing for an intervention to control the deadly outbreak," wrote Smart in a paper he recently published in the journal Econometrics by Simulation.

"At first a figure as high as 20,000 seems exaggerated especially when looking just at the number of 3,000 cases reported the same day as the announcement. However, I believe that this estimate is vastly too small and is entirely based on an effective and well funded international relief mission."

Nearly one-quarter of populations of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia could contract Ebola in coming months

Using data already released by WHO, Smart says total infection and death counts will likely be far higher than what the media is reporting. This is because not enough is being done to contain the spread of disease in the hardest-hit countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

With a collective population of about 20 million, Smart predicts that as many as 4.7 million people, or about 25 percent, will have contracted Ebola within the next six to nine months. Of this, about 1.2 million will have died from the disease, and potentially more if the disease starts to spread beyond the borders of these nations.

"Using a projection from all of the WHO reports to date [September 5,] I calculate that if the disease continues to spread at the rate it currently is then we will have more than 20,000 cases by October 24," added Smart, as quoted by WND.

"The report also states that it will likely take six to nine months in order to stop the epidemic. However if nothing changes and the epidemic continues to rage as it currently does then my projections estimate that as many as 4.7 million people will have been infected and 1.2 million will have already died."

Liberia in worst shape trying to stop Ebola spread

As we previously reported, Liberia is having the hardest time controlling the spread of Ebola within its borders. The country is completely out of hospital beds, and despite efforts by Cuba and a few other nations to bring in more, the demand far exceeds available supply.

This deficit is creating widespread chaos, with Liberia's own defense minister recently issuing a warning that the outbreak poses a serious threat to the nation's existence.

"[A]s the crisis escalates the ability of Liberia to maintain any sense of order and with it any hope of controlling the spread of the disease is likely to degrade," warned Smart. "If this is the case then it is quite possible that even this horrifying projection is an underestimate of the pain and carnage likely to result from this outbreak."

Learn all these details and more at the FREE online Pandemic Preparedness course at www.BioDefense.com

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