Sep 13, 2014

Why the Ebola fire can almost not be stopped anymore

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

It needs an effort dwarfing all past peace-time and war-time efforts to be launched immediately, which prospect appears almost infinitely unlikely to be met in time.

The outbreak has long surpassed the threshold of instability and can only be spatially contained any more by the formation of uninfected (A) areas as large as possible and infected areas (B) as small as still possible. Water, food, gowns and disinfectants must be provided by international teams immediately in exponentially growing numbers and for whole countries. A supportive industry must be set in motion in a planet-wide action.


The bleak prospect that the quenching of the disease is close to a point of no return stems from chaos theory which is essentially a theory of exponential growth (of differences in the initial conditions). “Exponential growth” means that a level that has been reached – in terms of the number of infected persons in the present case – will double after a constant number of time units for a long time to come. Here, we have an empirical doubling every 3 weeks for 5 months in a row by now with no abating in sight. See the precise graphs at the end of:


Comments — comments are now closed.

  1. Many Africans are hiding their relatives from what looks like being taken to the morgue by people covered over to the point they look like monsters. The huge number of Malaria and Lassa Fever cases chokes local healthcare. But Malaria could easily be eliminated and Lassa Fever easily be much more comprehensively dealt with. Cuba’s response sending in heath-care teams makes more sense then the US flooding the country with high-tech gear for untrained African nurses to try to use. Survivors as few as they are are at least in part safe from Ebola. However since Nigeria is almost in the state of economic collapse as travel and commerce almost ceases, real disaster is ahead if humankind isn’t carefully. Continuing to fight wars and Ebola at the same time won’t work. There is a nasty traffic in the blood of Ebola victims as middle men make a fortune. Taking survivors blood for treatment to the newly sick has been tried over the years several times with limited results. Seeing survivors would stop so many Africans from thinking they are being taken to the morgue, which would be the most positive thing to accomplish so far,…bola-fight

    Gravity is weak. With the Micro Black Hole if they never stop growing, in an infinite number of years one small one would engulf the earth. A Domesday device would be putting frozen Helium at almost absolute zero in the Large Hadron Collider with gravity the only force pulling at the Helium. Liquid Helium close to a huge energy source is not duplicated in nature. The question is if the LHC is producing billions of micro black holes how long with it take for them to slowly drift together at the center of the earth as the power keeps getting upped, that is if we actually produce black holes which is not at all certain.

  2. Sometimes comments on different sites are held up if one posts links. Otto massive increase in gloves and other protective gear won’t work. Creating a world where sick people don’t hide is doable. So is somewhat cheaply ridding the world of Malaria and Lassa Fever, to free up healthcare workers in Africa. I hope my link included comment posts here

  3. Otto E. Rossler says:

    Thank you, Richard.
    Do you agree that exponential growth in this case needs a different approach?

  4. Tom Kerwick says:

    a bit of friendly webadmin guys — Richard — unblocked your links, Otto — added graph to your post. This Ebola outbreak is indeed horrific — and perhaps not getting the media attention it warrants in recent weeks. One would think from recent reduced coverage on it that the outbreak is contained somewhat. These graphs show a very different picture.

  5. Otto E. Rossler says:

    Thank you for your perceptive minds, my friends.
    Can anyone think of a loving strategy — there is no more inter-individual warmth on the planet than in Africa.
    Everyone has to think of how to get the organizations and politicians to act.
    Please, offer your advice, dear media! Dear Churches! Dear monasteries! Everyone. Ideas are in vitally short supply!

  6. Tom Kerwick says:

    Three words… Concentric quarantine zones. Affected countries should be treated similarly to how quarantine zones are treated within those countries. The problem the way I see it is that people travelling from affected countries are currently being treated reactively rather than proactively. At present travellers returning from a trip to an affected area are being asked to be assessed for Ebola if symptoms arise within 3 weeks — this is not containment. To leave an affected area, one should need to be in a border containment area and be clear of the virus for that max three week incubation period before leaving the area. The best solutions are in simplicity.

    On the humanitarian side, there should be a massive influx of protective gear for care workers, and basic first-aid training for care workers. It does not make sense to send people. The following seems an insane move to me — US Military to Send 3000 to Battle Ebola Virus…1410840310

    I see the UN Security council are holding a meeting on Ebola later this week — only the second time in history the council has met to address a public health crisis. Let’s hope it proves constructive.

  7. Tom Kerwick says:

    To highlight the significance of this pattern of the past 5 months. **If*** the same pattern continued for another 14 months or so, we would reach world population levels :-

    13/09/2014: 5,249 cases / 2,589 deaths
    04/10/2014: 10,498 cases / 5,178 deaths
    25/10/2014: 20,996 cases / 10,356 deaths
    15/11/2014: 41,992 cases / 20,712 deaths
    06/12/2014: 83,984 cases / 41,424 deaths
    27/12/2014: 167,968 cases / 82,848 deaths
    17/01/2015: 335,936 cases / 165,696 deaths
    07/02/2015: 671,872 cases / 331,391 deaths
    28/02/2015: 1,343,744 cases / 662,784 deaths
    21/03/2015: 2,687,488 cases / 1,325,568 deaths
    11/04/2015: 5,374,976 cases / 2,651,136 deaths
    02/05/2015: 10,749,952 cases / 5,302,272 deaths
    23/05/2015: 21.5 million cases / 10.5 million deaths
    13/06/2015: 43 million cases / 21 million deaths
    04/07/2015: 86 million cases / 42 million deaths
    25/07/2015: 172 million cases / 84 million deaths
    15/08/2015: 344 million cases / 168 million deaths
    05/09/2015: 688 million cases / 336 million deaths
    26/09/2015: 1,376 million cases / 672 million deaths
    17/10/2015: 2,752 million cases / 1,344 million deaths
    07/11/2015: 5,504 million cases / 2,688 million deaths
    28/11/2015: / 5,376 million deaths
    world population: 7,162 million

    Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.…

  8. Little Cuba is doing the most sending in medical teams, better then fancy protective gear that the US is sending to exhausted medical personnel,

    I wonder if the world should allow DDT to be spayed of East African Mosquito ponds this year since Malaria is overwhelming medical teams who should only have to deal with Ebola?

    On another danger some say that we should spray the upper atmosphere with chemicals that will stop global warming. However using the entire earth as a laboratory is something the world is reluctant to do since several times in the past mistakes caused laboratories to explode or otherwise create mayhem. My question is, why is us human primates so eager to experiment on the entire earth when it comes to micro black holes?

  9. Otto E. Rossler says:

    Yesterday’s International New York times carrried a very perceptive article about Obama’s most wonderful response.
    One billion dollars will still not suffice, but the fact for the first time represents a light on the horizon.
    Suddenly humanity has a chance again.
    While the doubling continues every three weeks.

  10. Brian James says:

    As scary as the exponential growth is (it hit me like a brick), the growth will cease being exponential once the virus runs out of “food” (meaning people). The big question is can it be contained to the 3 hard hit countries or not. In my opinion, that is all that can be realistically done.

  11. Otto E. Rossler says:

    We should also help the affected populations: by (1) disallowing travel and (2) bringing in large numbers of people in safe garments in vehicles distributing water and food. Otherwise the non-migration cannot be implemented, of course.
    So a 2-status society will need to be created, residents and distributors.
    First of all, the immense amounts of food and water and cars and helpers need to be provided.
    Since at present the affected regions are still only half as large as they will be in 3 weeks’ time, by acting to date, half of the numbers necessary in three weeks suffice.
    Anyone get the point?

  12. Tom Kerwick says:

    It is clearer to look at the slope on a log scale… and what we actually see is an order of magnitude increase every 3 months — Not quite a doubling every 3 weeks.

    If not tackled effectively, this trend would see the majority of West Africa’s 350 million population infected before the end of next year :- 50,000 cases by end of the year, 500,000 by spring, 5 million by summer, 50 million by next autumn, 500 million by the end of next year. Restriction of movement of people will slow this down a lot of course.

  13. Otto E. Rossler says:

    Thank you for agreeing that the curbing of movement is the only way. Hence the massive logistic and billion-dolllar engagement of a great country. Please, hurry, dear America!

  14. Alexey Turchin says:

    See my article on the topic:
    Does the Ebola virus constitute an existential risk?
    It takes in account not only exponential growth but also mutations.…ntial-risk