Ebola predictions are starting to pick up steam, with those in the scientific community estimating that there could be anywhere from one to 130 additional cases in the United States by year's end.
In a report from the Associated Press, scientists emphasized that they did not think the Ebola outbreak would hurt the U.S. as badly as it has other countries, but they did not rule out the possibility that there would be more diagnoses within America's borders.
"I don't think there's going to be a huge outbreak here, no," said Dr. David Relman, professor of infectious disease, microbiology and immunology at Stanford University's medical school, in comments to the AP. "However, as best we can tell right now, it is quite possible that every major city will see at least a handful of cases."
The AP asked several top infectious disease experts to run data simulations making the Ebola predictions, and the small number of cases noted above were the final results. Considering the U.S. did not foresee this disease reaching its soil as early as six months ago, it's not instilling confidence in most with 60 percent favoring an Ebola travel ban from the affected nations.
President Obama has been consistent in his refusal to enact travel bans or mandatory quarantines, noting that these things would not prevent Ebola from reaching U.S. soil.
He also noted that "we can't seal ourselves off" from the rest of the population.
Nevertheless, that hasn't stopped both Democrats and Republicans from favoring mandatory quarantines, as seen with Kaci Hickox in Maine and New Jersey, and the ban of travel to and from West Africa.
Australia and Canada have also decided to enact such protocols.
The problem that many pro-travel ban/quarantine experts point out is that very little is known about the Ebola virus. From day one, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have claimed that Ebola is very hard to catch.
That hasn't stopped trained medical personnel and health workers in Hazmat suits from getting it, as seen with nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson in the Dallas Ebola case involving U.S. patient zero, Thomas Eric Duncan.
(Duncan died from the disease, but Vinson and Pham survived.)
What do you think, readers? Do the scientists' Ebola predictions show an accurate estimate, or will the number be higher? Do you think America is prepared for an Ebola outbreak over the long term? Share your thoughts in our comments section.
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