There could be as many as two dozen people in the U.S. infected with Ebola by the end of the month, according to researchers tracking the virus with a computer model.
The actual number probably will be far smaller and limited to a couple of airline passengers who enter the country already infected without showing symptoms, and the health workers who care for them, said Alessandro Vespignani, a Northeastern University professor who runs computer simulations of infectious disease outbreaks. The two newly infected nurses in Dallas don’t change the numbers because they were identified quickly and it’s unlikely they infected other people, he said.
The projections only run through October because it’s too difficult to model what will occur if the pace of the outbreak changes in West Africa, where more than 8,900 people have been infected and 4,500 have died, he said. If the outbreak isn’t contained, the numbers may rise significantly.