The Eurosurveillance paper, by two researchers from the University of Tokyo and Arizona State University, attempts to derive what the reproductive rate has been in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. They come up with an R of at least 1, and in some cases 2; that is, at certain points, sick persons have caused disease in two others.
You can see how that could quickly get out of hand, and in fact, that is what the researchers predict. Here is their stop-you-in-your-tracks assessment:
In a worst-case hypothetical scenario, should the outbreak continue with recent trends, the case burden could gain an additional 77,181 to 277,124 cases by the end of 2014.
While reports on the Ebola epidemic have become a sort of a background noise in the news, the growth of the disease is exponential. Yet none of the current or aspiring global powers, all busy in conflicts small and large, is willing to take a decisive action there.