Via her Mens et Manus blog, Maia Majumder has a good post: #Ebola2014: On the Topic of Lab-Confirmation.Excerpt:
As the current outbreak of Ebola in West Africa continues, 56 cases have been lab-confirmed out of 169 total (suspected + confirmed) thus far [CDC - 2014]. That’s around 33%.
A lot of folks have been wondering why that percentage is “so low”… But compared to other Ebola outbreaks? It’s really not.
For this particular disease, which requires a Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) facility to diagnose and has historically been constrained to some of the most economically disadvantaged parts of the world, 33% confirmation is pretty great. [Especially given that the outbreak is ongoing and not all samples have been tested yet!]
From 1976 til now, about 2500 cases of Ebola have been recorded throughout the African continent. Less than 25% of them were ever lab-confirmed.
Here’s to progress! – and to the men and women who risk their lives every day to make it happen.