The Bizarre Growth of the Ebola Outbreak: This Graph Says It All

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Ebola Virus

As I view the cascade of news coming in on the Ebola outbreak, it leaves me scratching my head a little. Ebola is of course, an extremely lethal virus. The first outbreak that occurred in 1976 had a 90 percent mortality rate (we’re currently at 60 percent with this one). It’s also a highly contagious disease, but only through the proper channels. It isn’t an airborne virus. You have to come into direct contact with the bodily fluids of the infected to contract it yourself.

Ebola never seemed to be capable of pandemic levels of destruction. It just doesn’t have the right ingredients, so to speak. Usually viruses that kill the most people have a lower death rate, if you can believe that. It allows the victim to spread the disease for a much longer period of time. And unlike most viruses, Ebola doesn’t become contagious until you actually begin to show symptoms. Anyone within the vicinity of the victim now knows that they have to take certain precautions, so it stops spread so easily. Normal viruses will have you spreading their ilk everywhere before you or anyone else knows you’re infected. Altogether, this current outbreak is baffling, and so far, has outmatched all previous Ebola events by a large margin.

And yet, it just keeps on coming:

Doctors Without Borders said its teams are overwhelmed with new Ebola patients in Sierra Leone and that the situation in Liberia is now “dire.”

“Over the last weeks, there has been a significant surge in the epidemic – the number of cases has increased dramatically in Sierra Leone and Liberia, and the disease has spread to many more villages and towns,” the organization said in a statement. “After a lull in new cases in Guinea, there has been a resurgence in infections and deaths in the past week.”

“Surge” would be a good way to describe an affliction that historically, has never really acted in such a way. To those of you who have been following this outbreak since it began in February, it’s easy to watch the death count slowly rise without seeing what’s going on behind the numbers. I know, because until today I was guilty of that as well. I’ve read the headlines for months, and watched that death toll slowly climb, not realizing just how bad this outbreak may be. The deaths of nearly 800 people over the course of many months, while tragic, wouldn’t normally be such an alarming event. Those kinds of numbers pale in comparison to other viral outbreaks in history.

But, there is something different this time around. After looking through the CDC updates of the outbreak going back to March 25th, I noticed that the spread of this virus has been prolific, exponential, and unlike any previous event. To help visualize this, I went through CDC numbers and charted them. Below is a graph with each interval being around 1-2 weeks apart. Rather than just adding up the casualties from week to week, I decided to show the difference between the number of deaths from one interval to the next.


It looks like the Virus almost died out by the end of April, before making a huge comeback in May and June. It was almost under control, and probably would have burned out shortly thereafter. It was almost a non-event, no more serious than any other historical outbreak, but instead the virus surged into uncharted territory. We’ve never seen this many deaths spread out in so many countries. It appears to have fully escaped the ability of any government to control its spread, and is growing by leaps and bounds. We can only speculate as to how bad it’s going to get.

One thing’s for sure, there’s something different about this. I suspect that the virus has mutated a bit. Perhaps it isn’t contagious in the same way it used to be. Maybe it has gone airborne, or maybe it’s starting to become contagious before the infected show symptoms. Perhaps the slightly lower death rate is helping the virus advance, or it’s spreading so much because the outbreak didn’t occur in an isolated village as it normally has over the past 40 years. But then again, how in the hell did this virus manage to spread to the cities so quickly? So many questions we don’t have the answer to, or may never know.

Meanwhile, the authorities don’t seem too concerned. I’m skeptical of their level of awareness. They don’t seem to grasp that they may be dealing with a totally different situation this time, and the virus isn’t following the norms and rules that we expect it to. CDC director Dr. Tom Friedan has been busy assuring us that all is well, and the world outside of Africa has nothing to fear.

“The plain fact is, we can stop it. We can stop it from spreading in hospitals and we can stop it in Africa [which] is really the source of the epidemic and where we’re surging our response so that we can control it there…It’s not going to spread widely in the U.S. Could we have another person here, could we have a case or two? Not impossible. We say in medicine never say never. But we know how to stop it here,”

Sure you do Tom. 

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Contributed by Joshua Krause of The Daily Sheeple.

Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger .

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14 thoughts on “The Bizarre Growth of the Ebola Outbreak: This Graph Says It All”

  1. Joshua Krause, you may want to tell the truth about how this virus is spread and not lead people into a false sense of security like you are doing. Please read the information below to give people the real facts. The comments below are mine the link at the bottom are to the facts. They can also find them on my Facebook page.


    CDC and US government lying about the transmission is the Ebola Virus.
    it is a lot worse then they say and everyone must spread this story..
    —I said that the sneeze is a bodily fluid and it could be transmitted via a sneeze. testing has proved my statement correct.

    —Seems it can infect people from a sneeze and it can be passed form
    one species to another. Also Ebola survives for days outside the host
    not dies after it leaves the body
    –Seems this was a lie by the CDC
    and the US government to throw people off guard and give them a false
    sense of security. Since they knowing lied to the public about the
    seriousness of this virus it only stands to reason that they plan to use
    this virus against Americans to bring in marshal Law.

    1. I can get you a real good deal on tinfoil hats. I bet you have a closet full already, but why not stock up out of an abundance of caution?

  2. One major question: Understanding that each life lost is important, and a tragedy, the *statistical* fact remains that “only” around 700 people have died in west Africa from this, out of a pop. of hundreds of millions, low sanitation, low nutrition, low medical care, low understanding of how to protect themselves (as a generalization). This seems to be slightly good news, at least for now. And BTW, Dr. Kent Brantly is a true hero

    1. Those are all valid points you lay out. Before the doctors statement…”It’s not going to spread widely in the U.S.”, I was not so concerned, but that statement right there, now has me more than a little concerned.

  3. Or maybe they are looking forward to a pandemic – or at least the appearance of one. I was involved with a number of discussions on Liberal boards back before Obama was elected where the Liberal posters agreed that they could best use an epidemic/pandemic as a tool to control people who might NOT go along with their programs … seize contraband like guns, ammo, and prepper supplies … or even wipe out people who they didn’t want to continue sharing the planet with.

  4. “It isn’t an airborne virus. You have to come into direct contact with the bodily fluids of the infected to contract it yourself.”

    It IS airborne. Ebola Reston should have taught you that much.

  5. Whoops…here we go again….

    First it was AIDS, then the CIA paid Dutch outfit ERASMUS to mutate
    H5N1 non human transferable virus to contagious airborne….and now….

    The cold, slimy hand of the United States Government is found in Liberia & Sierra Leone.

    The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, has
    coincidentally been operating in the area, carrying out “tests” since

    Call me a cynic but there are just too many coincidences here.

  6. Exponential is shown by a curve on a graph, up and down is linear or a straight line that goes up and down… This is intro algebra, which I sucked at…

  7. I don’t agree with this definition, written by somebody who knows no mathematics. An exponential is characterized by increasing by a factor of 2 (or e, or 10) in a fixed time over multiple periods. Your ‘guess’ makes no sense because you specify no units. I’ll make it easy on you; doubling times were about 3 weeks in Sierra Leone, 7 weeks in Liberia. (You can also specify rates, in units of 1/T). If available data can be believed, we left exponential growth in late August, but cases are still rising linearly.

  8. BTW, your opinion about banning flights ‘from Africa’ is as informed as your attempts to argue mat with math teacher. There is no ebola in Cape Town, or in Tunis. Factors other than PC are driving discussions about travel restrictions and quarantine. I suggest you relax and watch the blinking lights.

  9. Yeah, yeah, and that’s why people in Texas who slept with the three infected people didn’t get infected. What BS.

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