Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, retweeted a USA Today article which asserts that the Ebola virus is “rare, difficult to transmit and kills fewer people than flu, measles.”
The article quotes a medical school professor stating that if Ebola spread easily, “there would be millions of cases, not thousands.”
CDCs own researchers, however, are projecting “that by January 20, 2015, there will be a total of approximately 550,000 Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone or 1.4 million if corrections for underreporting are made” (emphasis added). By comparison, flu kills 250,000 to 500,000 people per year. Measles kills an estimated 164,000 people per year.
Maybe CDC’s projections are too high, or maybe not. The point is that Frieden is pushing a story line that is at odds with his own agency’s predictions.