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The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa has grown exponentially since May, indicating inadequate global response. A new analysis indicates that the outbreak's fatality rate is over 70 percent-rather than 50 percent as previously claimed by the World Health Organization-and that the total number of affected individuals could exceed 1 million by early next year.
As long as the number of infected people rises exponentially, the likelihood of exporting Ebola to other countries does as well.
"The disease itself hasn't changed, with essentially the same fatality rate and transmissibility as ever. What is different is the number of sickened individuals," says Dr. Allen Hunt, author of the paper published int he journal Complexity. "If trends continue a few more months, the global community could be forced into a terrible ethical dilemma-either risking the escape of Ebola to other poor, war-torn countries, or sealing off borders to countries in West Africa, with unimaginable humanitarian consequences."