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Thursday, November 03, 2005


In an article discussing the origin and spread of Ebola, Tara Smith at Aetiology drops some numbers:
    Overall, less than 2000 known human infections and 1100 deaths have resulted from Ebola since its discovery in 1976. That's an average of 38 deaths worldwide per year over the last 29 years. Compare that to a virus such as influenza, which kills 36,000 every year in the United States alone. Or even a fairly common microbe like E. coli, which causes thousands of deaths each year due to bacterial sepsis. Worse, none of these even come close to malaria, which causes over 200 deaths worldwide every hour.

That's not to say Ebola is something we should ignore, since it appears Ebola is just starting to spread, and the way it kills is pretty awful. So, it's worth paying attention to. But it did make me think "Wow, malaria sounds like something that we should get to work on."

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