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In short, Ebola is a deadly virus with a 50-90% death rate for those infected, which is orders of magnitude higher than swine flue (0.02%) or the plague (2-3%). Ebola is not highly contagious, though, with an R(2) number (i.e. only 2 people infected per sick person) compared to HIV with R(4) or measles with R(18). There is still a high overall death rate in West Africa due to cultural practices which pass on the disease at burial with 8,641 as of January 18, 2015. This is nearly triple the number of polio deaths in the United States 1952 epidemic.   This infographic from Al Jazeera compares the deadliness of viral diseases in terms of:

  • Total # of deaths
  • Deadliness of disease (% of death rate)

Screenshot 2015-01-28 18.35.07  Screenshot 2015-01-28 19.35.14   This infographic from NPR compares how infectious the disease is compared to others per its R number (number of people one sick person will infect): Screenshot 2015-01-28 19.26.11   This inforgraphic from the Economist details the overall death rate of Ebola in Africa: Screenshot 2015-01-28 19.30.02



Featured Photo: Creative Commons, Brandon Farley