More people will probably bring Ebola into the United States in the next month or so, but that shouldn’t be cause for alarm.
Relieved to know there is no cause for alarm. All cynicism aside, this is where maps can quickly illustrate trends. This is a very interesting problem. If you trap people in their geography you are more likely to scare them into escaping and as a consequence spreading the virus more quickly into other geographies.
The more frightening element is the bell curve. Obviously what we are looking for is a sin wave, but that isn’t looking likely just yet.
The idealist in me wants to ask why we don’t put all our efforts into fighting this instead of fighting other people. A virus doesn’t care what you believe in, what color you are or where you come from. It has no respect for borders, governments or ideologies.
What sort of impact is it likely to have on tourism and travel, particularly air travel? We have seen lots of technologies that can monitor people’s temperature at airports, but what we have been told is that there is a reasonably lengthy incubation period during which time people do not display any symptoms, which is long enough to catch a flight to anywhere in the world.
That means that all countries need to be vigilant and prepared and maps like these become very important. Strategies become very important. Several years ago I was involved with the pilot of a Windows CE app for infectious diseases, which was designed to ask people who arrived in hospitals a series of questions around whether they had traveled overseas recently, or had come into contact with others who had.
With location based technologies, map solutions and cloud based scalable computing it would be possible for hospitals and health authorities around the world to share information in near real time to get a picture on what is happening including false positives.
A picture speaks a thousand words.