I have some predictions as to what will happen with the current Ebola epidemic over its lifecycle. They are not pleasant.
- The virus will accelerate its advance throughout Africa for the next few months
- The virus will spread globally, but will only get true penetration into the geographies/continents/countries that are most vulnerable
- Africa, India, and parts of South America and Southeast Asia will be devastated by it
- In the more prepared countries through the end of 2014 and early 2015 there will be a number of small outbreaks (tens or dozens of people) which will be contained within days of their occurrence
- A viable vaccine (for countries with money and access) will surface around mid 2015
- By the end of 2015 we will have lost around 10 million people from around the world, mostly in Africa and India
- By the end of 2016 most of the modern world will be vaccinated, but we will have lost 20-40 million people worldwide—nearly all of which will be from large, urban, poor areas
Two years from now Ebola will be a bad memory for first-world countries, but the poor and suffering will have been absolutely slaughtered. Even worse, the isolation the poor already experiences will increase dramatically because they’ll be associated with sickness and disease.
- Use caution when taking epidemiology predictions from someone who breaks into computers for a living.
- This is not taking into account the possibility of Ebola mutating to become airborne, for example. That would change everything.