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Scientists Predict Number of Ebola Cases

Update Date: Nov 02, 2014 06:55 PM EST

Americans should expect more cases to emerge in the country by year's end, warn top medical experts studying the spread of Ebola. 

Justifying the outcome, experts said by year's end infected people would arrive from West Africa, including American doctors and nurses from hot zone and people fleeing from the deadly disease. 

Although the exact number of infected patient is impossible to obtain, researchers have made educated guesses based on data models that weigh hundreds of variables, including daily new infections in West Africa, airline traffic worldwide and transmission possibilities. 

Experts predicted as few as one or two additional infections by the end 2014 to a worst-case scenario of 130. 

"I don't think there's going to be a huge outbreak here, no," said Dr. David Relman, a professor of infectious disease, microbiology and immunology at Stanford University's medical school, in the press release. "However, as best we can tell right now, it is quite possible that every major city will see at least a handful of cases."

Until now, projections published in top medical journals by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control have focused on worst-case scenarios for West Africa, concluding that cases in the U.S. will be episodic, but minimal. But they have declined to specify actual numbers, the press release said. 

The article has been published in the journal PLoS ONE.

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