Random Analytica

Charts, Infographics & Analytics. No Spinning the Data. No Juking the Stats

Random Analytica: Dow Jones Industrial Average closes up 567-points (+2.3%)

A lot of talk yesterday about the big losses experienced on Wall Street with the Dow Jones down 1,175-points, the first time that index has declined by more than 1,000-points in a single day.

Crash, tumble and wipe-out were utilised frequently across news channels and social media. The #TrumpSlump hashtag was overutilised by many who really don’t understand markets.

In relative terms yesterday’s Dow Jones numbers were not the worst day of historical trading although they did break the previous point’s loss record. In fact, it didn’t even rate in the top 100 of trading day points losses. My thoughts are here along with a couple of charts.

Today the conversation is all about volatility as the Dow Jones returned almost half of yesterday’s losses.

In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had its 4th best day on record (in terms of points gained). Here is the updated top 20 chart.

180206_DJIA_PointsGained

To get within ‘coo-wee’ of needing to update the Biggest One-Day % Gains chart we would need a +7% increase which would equate to an approximate 1,750-point gain in a single day.

With volatility returning to the markets we might get more updates to this chart in coming weeks.

Random Analytica: Dow Jones Industrial Average closes down 1,175-points (-4.6%)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 1,175.21 points overnight losing 4.6% of its value in one-day of trading. That is the single worst day in terms of points but is it the worst day ever?

The simple answer is NO. In fact it doesn’t even rate in the top 20!

Here are a couple of charts to prove that point.

180205_DowJonesIndustrialAvg_Points

In terms of points the Dow Jones Industrial Average did have its worst day on record. The previous record was a loss of 777.68 points on the 29th September 2008 at the height of the Global Recession.

Here is a look at the top-20 worst losses as a percentage which is the more accurate reflection of yesterday’s trading day in the United States.

180205_DowJonesIndustrialAvg_Percentage

In terms of percentage the Dow Jones Industrial Average did not have its worst day ever. In fact, yesterday’s trading losses do not even rate in the top 20 worst days on record.

Black Monday was the worst day on record. Here is a reminder of what that headline looks like. Via the Australian Broadcasting Commission. No, this wasn’t the worst day on the Dow Jones — we’ve seen worse. Excerpt:

October 19, 1987

Known as Black Monday in America, this was the day that 22.61 per cent was lost from the Dow Jones. This was followed by Black Tuesday in Australia, when the ASX plunged a massive 25 per cent in response.

871021_SydneyMorningHerald

Photo: Front page of the Sydney Morning Herald, 21st October 1987, the day after the stock market crash via the Australian Broadcasting Commission.

Big technical stock exchange losses make for great headlines. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had a bad day and the Australian Stock Exchange is following that lead in response but it’s not the worst day ever.

Not even close.

Random Analytica: Guantanamo Detainees 2009 – 2018

Ian Bremmer, the President of the Eurasia Group sent out an interesting tweet yesterday which highlighted the amount of detainees held by the US Military at Guantanamo Bay since 2009. Interestingly there were 214 detainees held at the prison in 2009 when then President Obama ordered the facility closed. Today there are still 41 detainees including Hambali who is accused of orchestrating the 2002 Bali Bombings and has still not faced trial.

GuantanamoDetainees2018

The New York Times has an excellent interactive project site with all the details and is well-worth a look. The Guantanamo Docket. Overview:

About the Project

The Guantánamo Docket is an interactive database of documents and analysis from The New York Times about the roughly 780 men who have been detained at Guantánamo as enemy combatants since January 2002.

The Times has reviewed thousands of pages of government documents released in recent years, as well as court records and news media reports from around the world. The Times will update the database with ongoing research.

There are three types of documents in the database:

Combatant Status Review Tribunals

The database includes Pentagon documents related to the Combatant Status Review Tribunals, military hearings created in response to a 2004 decision by the United States Supreme Court to judge whether prisoners at Guantánamo were properly designated as enemy combatants and subject to indefinite detention. The hearings took place from July 2004 to March 2005.

Administrative Review Boards

The database also includes documents from subsequent Administrative Review Boards, panels of military officers conducting annual hearings to determine whether the detainees remain a threat to the United States or its allies.

These documents, along with the documents related to the Combatant Status Review Tribunals, were selected for public disclosure by the U.S. Defense Department in 2006 in response to a lawsuit brought under the Freedom of Information Act by The Associated Press.

Joint Task Force Assessments

The database also includes a selection of classified documents from the Guantánamo Joint Task Force, part of a huge trove of secret documents leaked last year to the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks. They were made available to The Times by another source on the condition of anonymity. The files contain the government’s assessment of the dangers the individuals represent. The files are dated from February 2002 to January 2009, and some of the information may have been superseded by later, still undisclosed assessments made during the Obama administration or by more highly classified documents.

The documents contain the Defense Department’s assessments of the detainees, some of which have been challenged in federal court, and in some of the cases lower court judges have ruled against evidence presented by the government. Those cases have been appealed.

In June 2013, the Justice Department released a list showing who of the remaining Guantánamo detainees has been recommended for transfer, prosecution or continued detention without trial. The list, released under the Freedom of Information Act, represents the final recommendations of a task force of national-security agencies President Obama put together in 2009 as part of his unfulfilled pledge to close the prison within a year. The group issued a report in early 2010, but its individual recommendations were not included in that document.

Lastly, a copy of the tweet by Ian Bremmer which kicked off the idea for the infographic.

180201_Tweet_IanBremmer_Guantanamo

UPDATES

13 Feb 2018: Amended first paragraph to include Hambali story.

 

Random Analytica: Rift Valley Fever 2000 to January 21, 2018

Over the African summer there have been several small outbreaks of Rift Valley Fever in both South Sudan and Uganda. In Yirol East, Eastern Lakes District in South Sudan an outbreak has resulted in six confirmed cases with three deaths. In Uganda there have been five cases spread over a wide area in that countries cattle corridor resulting in five cases and four deaths.

Here are the key facts about Rift Valley Fever via the World Health Organisation (updated July 2017).

  • • Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a viral zoonosis that primarily affects animals but can also infect humans.
  • • The majority of human infections result from contact with the blood or organs of infected animals.
  • • Human infections have also resulted from the bites of infected mosquitoes.
  • • To date, no human-to-human transmission of RVF virus has been documented.
  • • The incubation period (the interval from infection to onset of symptoms) for RVF varies from 2 to 6 days.
  • • Outbreaks of RVF in animals can be prevented by a sustained programme of animal vaccination.

While most human cases are relatively mild, a small percentage of patients develop a much more severe form of the disease. This usually appears as 1 or more of 3 distinct syndromes: ocular (eye) disease (0.5–2% of patients), meningoencephalitis (less than 1% of patients) or haemorrhagic fever (less than 1% of patients).

According to WHO, since 2000 there have been 15 significant outbreaks of Rift Valley Fever which have impacted 13-countries and at least one case was exported to China.

Here is a look at the Rift Valley Fever outbreaks by country since 2000.

RiftValleyFever - 180121

NOTE: The 2007 Sudan outbreak occurred prior to the creation of South Sudan but the outbreak was limited to districts within modern day Sudan.

The latest South Sudan update via the World Health Organisation. Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR). Epidemiological Update W2 2018 (Jan 8-Jan 14). Excerpt (from page 14):

Epidemics – Update (RVF, Yirol East)

A Rift Valley Fever (RVF) outbreak reported in Thonabutkok village, Yali Payam, Yirol East county with the initial case dating back to 7 December 2017.

As of 21 January 2018, a total of 15 suspect RVF human cases have been reported in Eastern Lakes State. Out of the 15 suspect human cases reported since 7 December 2017, three human cases have been confirmed, three died and were classified as probable cases with epidemiological linkage to the three confirmed cases, four were classified as none-cases following negative laboratory results for RVF, and laboratory testing is pending for the other five suspect cases.

At the moment – field investigation (human, animal, entomological) are ongoing; supportive care to suspect cases; and social mobilisation and risk communication. Discussions on a joint Ministry of Health and Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries outbreak declaration are ongoing at the highest levels of Government.

The latest Uganda update again via the World Health Organisation. Government of Uganda confirms outbreak of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic and Rift Valley fevers. Excerpt:

The Ministry of Health in Uganda confirmed an outbreak of the Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever and Rift Valley Fever in Nakasseke and Luwero respectively.

Regarding RVF, a total of five patients including four deaths have been confirmed in this outbreak. Cases have been sporadic, with no epidemiological link, and are spread out in diverse geographical areas in the cattle corridor. This is the second time RVF cases are confirmed in Uganda.

During a press conference at the Uganda Media Centre, the Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng informed the media that the government has employed rapid interventions to manage and control the outbreaks. She also revealed that a National Rapid Response Team of expert epidemiologists, clinicians, veterinarians, communicators and laboratory specialists was deployed in the affected districts to establish and support the response structures.

 

Random Analytica: Poor record for top-3 purchases at Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling sales

Almost every year the records for the Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling sales are broken. This year a colt sold for $2,000,000 making it the most expensive purchase in the events history. Money spent increased for the sixth consecutive year; up by approximately $21-million on 2017 and across the entire event overall sales have increased from $75.9-million in 2010 to $180-million this month.

Ok, that’s interesting but how did the big purchases in the past decade fare? I’ve charted the two most expensive horses each year from 2010, then included the next most expensive horse that has broken even in terms of prize money only… (Adding the true cost of horse ownership is just too hard but if you are interested I would recommend reading Cuffelinks: The economic reality of breeding and owning racehorses by Garry Mackrell).

GCMMSales2010~18

2010: Cross Of Gold was the top purchase at $925,000 and although he is still racing in Western Australia as a 9-year old gelding his 71-starts for $225,626 is well short of what connections originally hoped for. The first break-even horse was Hoylonny, who cost $380,000 but won 7-races and earned $469,330 before retiring in 2015. The stand-out horse in the first 20 was Delago Deluxe who was shipped to South Africa, won approx. 1.5M Rand (approx. $160,000) including a Group 1. He has now retired to stud duties back in Australia.

2011: Connections would still not be smiling when they bought Laughing Lad for $1,150,000 with a miserly $8,720 return. Aptly named No Looking Back was the fourth most expensive horse at $500,000 and before a quick-fire career she returned $635,250 and retired in 2014 with a ROI of 27.1%.

2012: Another tough year for buyers of thoroughbreds. Bull Point was the top purchase at $960,000 and he amassed a decent $552,000 in earnings before retiring to stud in 2016. The first break-even horse then was the 16th most expensive horse Centre Pivot who has won eight races, earned connections $718,033 and might chalk up more in the next couple of years.

2013: This was the big year for the Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling sales when the 61st most expensive horse, Winx was picked up for $230,000. She has currently returned $15.63-million to date. The most expensive horse bought that year was Valentia who cost $1,350,000 and returned $218,800 before retiring to stud duties in 2016. The first break-even horse was another good-thing, 2016 Group 1 Emirates winner Awesome Rock who cost $575,000 (4th most expensive) but won just over $2,000,000 during his career.

2014: Red Knot was the only $1,000,000 horse in 2014 and has currently returned $125,710 without setting the world on fire. At 14th the export Campbell Junior has been winning big in Japan and has so far earned around ¥97,266,000 (approx. $1,100,000 AUD). No stand-outs currently sit between Red Knot & Campbell Junior although all twelve horses are racing.

2015: The top three only. Ready Fire Aim was bought for $1,200,000 and in 2017 won two country NSW races for total prize money of $45,090. The next two big purchases Alter Call (cost $1,050,000) and Pirapala ($850,000) have both won races but their prize money is still sub-$100,000 as they struggle through the grades. Let’s see how they race in 2018.

2016: The top purchase of 2016 was Chauffer at $1,600,000. This horse is looking the goods with $555,250 already in the kitty including a 2nd behind Houtzen at the 2017 Magic Millions 2Y Classic which earned connections $370,000. That said Chauffer still needs to win more than $1,000,000 to become the first top-3 purchase to break-even in a decade. Showtime (4th most expensive at $1,100,000) and Dracarys (5th at $1,000,000) are also showing some early signs of good form.

2017: The only two year old from last year who was purchased for more than a $1-million and is on the radar is Angel having won their maiden at Geelong.

No Looking Back and Awesome Rock, each the 4th most expensive horses in their respective years won more money than they initially cost and were good buys in the end. I find that terribly ironic given my ability to pick 4th places on a regular basis. If you bought into the three most expensive horses over the last decade then you fared poorly with none of the 22-horses returning more than they cost at this stage (with fingers crossed for Chauffer).

Best of luck!

 

 

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Random Analytics: Australian 44th Parliament Suspensions (the Bronwyn Bishop Era)

Tomorrow, on the first day back from the winter break the Coalition government will sit down and decide who will be the new Speaker of the Parliament after Bronwyn Bishop resigned from the role following revelations that she took a helicopter to a Liberal Party fundraiser at a cost of more than $5,000 to the tax-payer rather than choosing another, cheaper form of transport.

Here is an updated look at the charts for Parliamentary suspension during the Bronwyn Bishop era.

1 - SuspensionsBySittingDay

As Speaker of the Parliament, Bronwyn Bishop officially spent 130-days in the chair and suspended 400 Members of Parliament (the highest total on record) including 18 MPs in a single day (again, the highest on record). 393 (98.3%) of those ejections were from the ALP and seven were from the Coalition. Included in the total were six 94(b) Naming’s where MPs are suspended for 24-hours rather than just the hour as per the 94(a) suspension. They were Mark Dreyfus (twice), Wayne Swan, Ed Husic, Jim Chalmers and Andrew Laming (from the LNP). On the second 94(b) suspension for Mark Dreyfus he was suspended for the rest of the day and then a further three days.

Interestingly, during 2015 Bronwyn Bishop’s suspension average has moderated (as represented by the black line within the chart) but only slightly and it still stayed above 3 for the entire year.

Here’s a look at the Top 12 MPs who were suspended during Bronwyn Bishop’s time as Speaker of the Parliament.

2 - Top12SuspensionByMember

The Member for Wakefield, Nick Champion continues to lead the count at 53 and is currently 12 suspensions ahead of his colleague the Member for Moreton, Graham Perrett (at 41). Coalition Members who have been suspended include Ewen Jones (twice), Michael McCormack, Luke Simpkings and Andrew Nikolic (twice) and Andrew Laming (94b).

A further 27 ALP MPs have been suspended ten times (or less):

Finally, a look at how the Speakers of the Parliament have stacked up in terms of suspensions during their tenure (and no surprises on who tops the list).

3 - SuspensionsBySpeaker

On a final note the Sydney Morning Herald did a very good analysis of the 29th Speaker’s time in office which is worth a read. Bronwyn Bishop’s greatest hits (or misses) as Speaker of the Parliament. Click through for the mosaic of Bronwyn Bishop created using photos of MPs who were suspended from Parliament during her time in the chair.

 

Data Sources

[1] Parliament of Australia. Hansard. Accessed 9 August 2015.

 

Random Analytics: Top 10 Ebola Outbreaks and West Africa

After a six month sabbatical I’m dipping my toe back into Random Analytics (and by default my passion for amateur epidemiology).

Last week the World Health Organisation released its latest Ebola Situation Report – 15 July 2015 which has demonstrated that although the disease has stopped it momentous attrition within West Africa it hasn’t entirely gone away. As we learnt from the initial outbreak in late 2013 one case can turn into many hundreds, then many thousands and finally some tens of thousands in a very short space of time.

The WHO notes:

There were 30 confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported in the week to 12 July: 13 in Guinea, 3 in Liberia, and 14 in Sierra Leone. Although the total number of confirmed cases is the same as the previous week, there has been a shift in the foci of transmission. For the first time in several months, most cases were reported from Conakry and Freetown, the capitals of Guinea and Sierra Leone, respectively. All 9 of the cases reported from Conakry and all 10 of the cases reported from Freetown were either registered contacts of a previous case or have an established epidemiological link to a known chain of transmission. One of the 30 cases reported in the week to 12 July arose from a yet unknown source of infection. However, a substantial proportion of cases (7 of 30: 23%) continue to be identified as EVD-positive only after post-mortem testing. This suggests that although improvements to case investigation are increasing our understanding of chains of transmission, contact tracing, which aims to minimise transmission by identifying symptoms among contacts at the earliest stage of infection, is still a challenge in several areas.

As the following chart demonstrates the 2013-15 West African Ebola Zaire outbreak has eclipsed all previous Ebola events.

1 - Ebola_Top10Outbreaks_150717

Even as the disease has left the pages of most Western newspapers and television screens the scale of the event and the ongoing transmission is still frightening. Consider just these three data points:

  1. Based on current Case Numbers alone the West African outbreak is 65-times greater than the next largest outbreak (the Ebola Sudan outbreak in Uganda in 2000);
  2. The West African outbreak currently is 11-times greater than ALL previous outbreaks combined (total cases prior to the West African plus the 2014 DRC outbreak totalled 2470 while the current outbreak cases total 27,678);
  3. In the past week of reporting the total case count (30) was just under half of the 10th worst outbreak of Ebola recorded in Gabon back in 2001 and greater than the 13 of the 30 historical outbreaks/events across the world to date.

Not all of us have forgotten West Africa.

 

Data Sources

[1] WHO. Ebola Situation Report – 15 July 2015. Accessed 17 July 2015.

Random Analytics: 44th Australian Parliament Suspensions (to cob 2014)

 

We are now into the final week of Parliament for 2014 and the previous week saw a number of records broken. Via the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (published 27 November 2014). Bronwyn Bishop suspends 18 MPs from Question Time, breaks Federation-era record. Excerpt:

Federal Parliament has embraced the schoolyard tradition of an “end-of-year muck-up day” setting new standards in misbehaviour. In a raucous Question Time to end Parliament’s penultimate sitting week, the Speaker, Bronwyn Bishop, suspended 18 MPs – all Labor. With a massively depleted front and back bench behind him, a frustrated manager of Opposition business Tony Burke rose to inform the House “18 people in one Question Time is an all-time record since Federation”.

Bishop says claims she picked on Labor MPs ‘pathetic’ She broke the previous one-day record for suspensions which had stood at 12. The Speaker almost racked up 50 suspensions in one week, but fell short at 47. Ms Bishop’s personal total of suspensions for the 44th Parliament stands at 285.

During that week there were some discrepancies in 94(a) suspension counts. On 25 November Hansard detailed nine suspensions while the Sydney Morning Herald reported ten and The Australian reported 12. I put a request for clarification into the Australian Parliament and received a wonderfully detailed response from Assistant Director, Chamber Research Office, Department of the House of Representatives who confirmed 12 suspensions on the day. (Hat tip to the Australian Parliament).

Here is a look at the Standing Order 94(a) and Standing Order 94(b) suspensions for the 44th Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia House of Representatives to the 27th November 2014. It is also my intent to update these charts at the end of the last sitting week for 2014.

1 - SuspensionsBySittingDay_141127

The 44th Parliament of Australia Suspensions per Sitting Day details the total amount of suspensions with breakdowns by political party.

As noted in the ABC story the final day of the second last week was the most suspensions in a single day since Federation (1901). Those named under Standing Order 94(b) have also been noted in red (they are Mark Dreyfus, Wayne Swan and Ed Husic) and the Coalition members ejected have been included under different colours depending on which Party they belong to.

 

2 - SuspensionsByMember_141127_Corrected

The 44th Parliament Suspensions by Member details the top 12 ALP and the four Coalition Members of Parliament to have been suspended thus far.

The Member for Wakefield, Nick Champion continues to lead the count at 36 and is currently 11 suspensions ahead of his colleague the Member for Moreton, Graham Perrett. Ewen Jones, Michael McCormack, Luke Simpkings and Andrew Nikolic from the Coalition have also been suspended.

There have been a further 27 ALP Members suspended seven times or less. They are:

7-Suspensions: Anthony Albanese, Chris Bowen, Warren Snowden & Tim Watts.
6-Suspendions: Catherine King.
5-Suspensions: Jenny Macklin.
4-Suspensions: Tony Burke, Julie Collins, Michael Danby, Joanne Ryan and Matt Thistlethwaite.
3-Suspensions: Lisa Chesters, Tanya Plibersek and Wayne Swan.
2-Suspensions: David Feeney, Joel Fitzgibbon, Michelle Rowland & Kelvin Thomson.

Mark Butler, Jason Clare, Sharon Claydon, Andrew Giles, Jill Hall, Clare O’Neil and Melissa Parke all have one suspension each.

3 - SuspensionsByDoTW_141127

The final chart is Day of the Week for Suspensions.

The obvious data point and the one which is consistently pointed out by the media is that the final day of the sitting week (usually a Thursday) is the most often day where members are ejected. Interestingly, the difference between Wednesday and Thursday was much closer than the anecdotal evidence suggested. In total Mondays had 43 suspensions, Tuesdays 68, Wednesdays 80 and Thursdays 94. If the week commencing 24 November did not occur then it would have been 68/76 for Wednesday/Thursday.

For a bit of fun I split the data between Nick Champion (with 12.6% of all suspensions for the 44th Parliament) and the rest of the House.

 

Data Sources:

[1] Parliament of Australia. Hansard. Accessed 2 December 2014.

 

Updated Charts to Monday, 1st December 2014

* There were no Standing Order 94(a) or 94(b) suspensions on the 1st December 2014

 

 

Random Analytics: West African Ebola Outbreak (to 5 Nov 2014)

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has updated it latest advice on the Ebola Outbreak. Ebola Response Roadmap Situation Report 7 November 2014. Summary:

A total of 13 268 confirmed, probable and suspected cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been reported in six currently affected countries (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Spain, the United States of America) and two previously affected countries (Nigeria, Senegal) up to the end of 4 November 2014. There have been 4960 reported deaths.

Following the WHO Ebola Response Roadmap structure, country reports fall into two categories: 1) those with widespread and intense transmission (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone); and 2) those with or that have had an initial case or cases, or with localized transmission (Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Spain, and the United States of America).

Here are three charts/infographics of the West African Outbreak with data confirmed by WHO to 5 November 2014.

01 - Ebola_WAfricaOutbreakTableau_141108

The West African Ebola Outbreak (2013-2014) infographic details the cases, fatalities, provisional Case Fatality Rate (CFR) and health spend per capita in 2012 $USD.

The data point of interest for me in the past fortnight has been the revision in numbers that WHO has provided. In the most recent update case numbers in Sierra Leone have been significantly revised down, while in Liberia where cases are on the apparent wane the numbers were revised upwards. Data for Mali has been included in this update.

02 - Ebola_WAfricaOutbreakChart_141108

The West African Ebola Outbreak (by Nation) chart looks at the split between those recovered or still in treatment (highlighted by flag) and those deceased (in red).

A data point of interest here is the case difference between Sierra Leone and Guinea yet a similar amount of deaths. Provisional CFR is Sierra Leone is 23.2% compared to Guinea which is a much higher 59.9%. Surely that can’t be correct?

03 - WestAfrica_Cases~FatalitiesMonth_141108

The West African EVD Outbreak – All Cases/Fatalities by month details the epidemiological curve of the outbreak from March 2014 when the first cases and deaths became apparent. Each column is visualised by the flag of the eight impacted countries. Note: Due to revisions in late October as provided by WHO I have finalised the October numbers as at 2 November.

The data point of interest in the last chart is the epidemic curve differences between cases (still rising) and deaths (decreasing). I would have expected that both should increase or decrease in tandem. I suspect missing data would account for the anomaly.

Summary

I’ll update and post my charts again when the data becomes available for the entirety of November. In the meantime if you want to keep across the West African outbreak detail via some alternate sources then I would recommend Crawford Kilian and for more regular epidemiological posts Maia Majumder, MPH and Ian Mackay, PhD.

 

Data Sources

[1] World Bank. Health expenditure per capita (current US$). Accessed 8 November 2014.
[2] World Health Organisation. WHO: Ebola Response Roadmap Situation Report 7 November 2014. Accessed 8 November 2014.

Random Analytics: West African Ebola Outbreak (to 18/19 Oct 2014)

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has updated it latest advice on the Ebola Outbreak. Ebola Response Roadmap Situation Report 22 October 2014. Summary:

Summary

A total of 9936 confirmed, probably, and suspected cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been reported in five affected countries (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Spain, and the United States of America) and two previously affected countries (Nigeria and Senegal) up to the end of 19 October. A total of 4877 deaths have been reported.

The outbreaks of EVD in Senegal and Nigeria were declared over on 17 October and 19 October 2014, respectively.

EVD transmission remains persistent and widespread in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. All but one administrative district in Liberia and all administrative districts in Sierra Leone have now reported at least one confirmed or probably case of EVD since the outbreak began. Cases of EVD transmission remain lowest in Guinea, but case numbers are still very high in absolute terms. Transmission remains intense in the capital cities of the three most affected countries. Case numbers continue to be under-reported, especially from the Liberian capital Monrovia.

Of the countries with localized transmission, both Spain and the United States continue to monitor potential contacts. On 21 October the single patient with EVD in Spain tested negative for the disease for a second time. Spain will be declared free of EVD 42 days after the date of the second negative test unless a new case arises during that period.

On 22 October 2014, WHO convened the third Emergency Committee on Ebola under the International Health Regulations (2005).

Here are three charts or infographics of the West African Outbreak with data confirmed by WHO to 18/19 October 2014.

01 - Ebola_WAfricaOutbreakTableau_141023

 

The West African Ebola Outbreak (2013-2014) infographic details the cases, fatalities, the provisional Case Fatality Rate (CFR) and health spend per capita in 2012 $USD.

Midway through October the biggest data find for me has been the difference between the index cases in Senegal and the United States. Lots of similarities but IMO four very important differences:

  1. Both cases entered the country without disclosing the possibility that they may have been exposed to Ebola;
  2. Both cases presented to hospital shortly after arrival in the destination country;
  3. Difference One: In the case of Thomas Eric Duncan who travelled to the USA he presented at hospital but was released back into the community. He presented again three days later (interestingly a key and important fact left out of the official CDC Overview) with more extreme symptoms. In the Senegal case the patient sought treatment in Dakar giving no indication he may have Ebola but was not released and a day later Senegalese authorities linked him to other cases. He was subsequently quarantined;
  4. Difference Two: In the USA contract tracing was slow to be implemented while PPE protocols were inadequate which resulted in the spread of the disease amongst Health Care Workers (HCW). In Senegal no HCW were infected.
  5. Difference Three: The USA index case died of the disease; potentially due to those critical days where he was without care while in Senegal the patient recovered and has returned to Guinea.
  6. Difference Four (and this is the key one which you can see in the infographic): The average health spend per capita in the USA is $8,895 (in 2012 $USD money) while Senegal makes do with just $51 per person. That’s 174 times less than the USA.

02 - Ebola_WAfricaOutbreakChart_141023

The West African Ebola Outbreak (by Nation) chart looks at the split between those recovered or still in treatment and those deceased. As per the latest update from WHO there is an element of underreporting going on in the worst impacted countries (Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea).

03 - WestAfrica_Cases~FatalitiesMonth_141023

The West African EVD Outbreak – All Cases/Fatalities by month details the epidemiological curve of the outbreak from March 2014 when the first cases and deaths became apparent. Each column is visualised by the flags of the seven impacted countries.

The mid-month data-find from this chart is that the epidemic curve in relation to deaths continues to increase month on month yet the case load seems to be pulling back. All the anecdotal evidence coming out of West Africa points to an increasing, rather than a decreasing case load as individuals, families and population centres avoid health care facilities. In past months, the case load mid-month would be approximately equal to the previous month. Best case scenario would be that West Africa is getting on top of the disease but the facts-on-the-ground don’t support this. I’d expect to see some revisions to the data in coming weeks and months.

Summary

I’ll update and post my charts again when the data becomes available for the entirety of October. In the meantime if you want to keep across the West African outbreak detail via some alternate sources then I would recommend Crawford Kilian and for more regular epidemiological posts Maia Majumder, MPH and Ian Mackay, PhD.

 

Data Sources

[1] World Bank. Health expenditure per capita (current US$). Accessed 23 October 2014.
[2] World Health Organisation. WHO: Ebola Response Roadmap Situation Report 22 October 2014. Accessed 23 October 2014.