Three Ebola Scenarios

1. “Good” Scenario.

Good is in quotes because although this is the best case scenario, a lot of people still suffer and die.

Massive influx of aid from the West decreases the number of new cases in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Contact tracing in Nigeria is effective in limiting spread in that country. New treatments prove effective and are used first for HCWs and then, as supplies increase, for all patients. An effective vaccine becomes available 6 months from now and is used in Africa to end the outbreak. West Africa suffers severe economic hardship and comes close to complete societal breakdown but narrowly escapes this fate.

2. Bad Scenario.

Aid from the West is too little, too late. Although the aid helps some people, the virus continues to spread in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Large numbers of cases show up in the West Point slum in Liberia a few weeks from now. Rioting occurs when soldiers shoot people trying to escape. Men with guns from outside Monrovia move in to “liberate” their kinsmen in West Point. Large numbers of cases are revealed in Lagos in October. Government attempts to hide the full extent of the outbreak in this country fail at this time. Nigerians start to flee to Western countries. A few are infected and start outbreaks in the countries they flee to. These are mostly contained but, as the numbers carrying the virus from Nigeria increase, containment starts to fail as ERs are overwhelmed by sick Nigerians as well as secondary contacts. Effective treatments are available but limited quantities lead to violent arguments over who will receive them. An effective vaccine is identified 6 months from now but is available in insufficient quanitities to do much good. Millions die and the world is plunged into economic Depression. The situation doesn’t stabilise until 2016 when there is finally enough vaccine to first slow and then stop the pandemic.

3.  Very Bad Scenarios

There are actually several:

A.  New Ebola becomes airborne before an effective vaccine can be developed.

B.  New Ebola is used by terrorists.

C.  It is discovered that New Ebola is a strategic biological weapon.

D.  China starts WWIII while the New Ebola pandemic is ravaging the US.

The four Very Bad Scenarios are not mutually exclusive.

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