CDC's worst-case scenario for Ebola unlikely to appear, study finds

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa is unlikely to reach the worst-case scenario projected by the United States earlier this fall, according to a new study by Yale University.

The study is good news for the Obama administration, which had estimated that as many as 1.4 million cases could appear before the outbreak is stopped.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the figure in late September,  which quickly became a rallying cry for governments around the world at a time when West Africa was seeing little international support to fight the disease.

It has also helped propel Congress to approve more than $6 billion in emergency Ebola funding requested by President Obama over the last month.

The study, which used virus samples and contact-tracing data in two West African countries, also found that far fewer cases were going unreported than previously thought. 

Some estimates said that as much as 250 percent of cases went unreported, though the researchers now believe that figure is about 70 percent.

The study was published in the journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases, led by Yale School of Public Health epidemiologists. 

A report from the United Nations on Monday also delivered some positive news of the effects of the outbreak.

The economic consequences from Ebola are likely to be “minimal” across the continent as the three worst-affected countries altogether make up less than 1 percent of Africa’s GDP.

Nearly 7,000 people have died from Ebola, which does not yet have approved treatments or vaccines, according to the World Health Organization.