Random Analytics

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

Random Analytics: Ebola in the USA? Time for some context

Back at the end of September when the Thomas Eric Duncan Ebola case was first diagnosed in Texas and hit the headlines Ebola went from being an African issue to become an American problem. Social media exploded on the subject, Twitter mentions on Ebola tripled overnight and news agencies across the Western world struggled to keep up with the renewed interest.

Most of the analysis has been very good but some of the commentary has been downright crazy.

CNN did a story on how some US Republicans are calling for stronger border controls by linking Ebola with ISIS. As crazy as the idea of mixing the Ebola and ISIS narrative is CNN itself asked the same question prompting The Independent to write ‘The Isis of biological agents?': CNN is asking the stupid Ebola questions.

1 - CNN_Ebola~ISIS

Stupid is as stupid does is not just reserved for the United States. In my own country of Australia a recently returned nurse was hospitalised on fears she may have contracted the disease after registering a mild fever. This incident had Bob Katter, the federal member for Capricornia suggesting a ban on people travelling to Australia from West Africa and calling for all returning Health Care Workers to be put into government isolation upon their return (the nurse in question was actually in self-imposed home isolation).

Anyway, I thought the debate on the one case in the United States against the 8,398 in Western Africa (as per the most recent WHO update) was worth putting in context. An infographic:

2 - EbolaCasesbyFlagSize_8Oct2014

The West African Ebola Outbreak – Cases by Country is a look at the six countries impacted by the disease with data to 7/8 October 2014. Each individual country is represented by their flag and the size of their flag is a percentile proportion of total cases.

As you can see Liberia has 48.5% of all cases, followed by Sierra Leone (35.1%), Guinea (16.1%) and Nigeria (0.2%). Both the USA and Spain have one case each which equates to 0.000119% of all cases and too small to be represented by a flag.

The story of Thomas Eric Duncan is tragic and the entry of a disease like Ebola into the West is scary but we need to get some context on how bad the situation is.

 

To the Lost

 

Data Sources

[1] Hooten, C. ‘The Isis of biological agents?': CNN is asking the stupid Ebola questions. The Independent. 7 October 2014. Accessed 12 October 2014.
[2] World Health Organisation. WHO: Ebola Response Roadmap Situation Report 10 October 2014. Accessed 12 October 2014.

Random Analytics: Ebola in Liberia (to 5 Oct 2014)

The Liberian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has released its latest numbers with their data confirmed to 5 October 2014.

1 - EbolaInLiberia_5Oct14

The Ebola in Liberia infographic charts the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) by county. Each figure represents 10 lives. Note: The cases versus deaths in Maryland County are not a typo with the Ministry recording 8-cases and 9-deaths.

According to the latest data from Liberia a further 28-cases were recorded in the 24-hours from 4 to 5 October 2014. By county the new cases were reported in:

  • Grand Cape Mount (x1)
  • Lofa (x3)
  • Margibi (x11)
  • Montserrado (x13)

At the same time another 21-fatalities were recorded. New fatalities by county were reported in:

  • Grand Cape Mount (x1)
  • Margibi (x4)
  • Montserrado (x16)

 

To the Lost

 

Data Sources

[1] Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. Liberia Ebola Sitrep no. 142. Government of Liberia. Accessed 10 October 2014.
[2] Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. Liberia Ebola Sitrep no. 143. Government of Liberia. Accessed 10 October 2014.

Random Analytics: 100-days of MERS

Given that we are now half-way through the annual Hajj I thought I might spend some time looking at the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) which has been with us for some years now but seems to have fallen off the radar in favour of the maladie de jour, Ebola.

What publically sourced data is available is limited. In the past 100-days there have only been 25-notified cases (23 in Saudi Arabia, 1 in the United Arab Emirates and an exported case to Austria). The Kingdom’s updates are as brief as ever, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has clumped together a monthly update with only high-level data while the world’s attention is completely focussed on Texas and West Africa. Not only is the data limited but the Saudi’s have again reviewed their data and found a further 17 cases prior to 3 June that were missed. Ian Mackay wrote an excellent open letter to the KSA Ministry of Health in relation to that oversight (recommended reading).

For lots of reasons I haven’t updated my rudimentary MERS-CoV Db in a couple of months and what I found during my data-entry this morning I thought was intriguing enough to do an infographic with MERS notifications going back just 100-days.

1 - MERSbyCity_141005

The 100-days of MERS infographic details the 25-cases that have been notified between the 29th June to the 6th October 2014. The Riyadh count includes the young lady who travelled from Afif to Austria and one case where the KSA Ministry of Health provided no details (thus the figure is represented as a man).

Just to cover off the basic points in the infographic, there have been 25-cases since 29 June and two notified deaths (assuming that FluTrackers case number #863 is the 76-year old male from Najran who died on 25 September, thus a provisional Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of 8%, which is extremely low compared to the current 42.4% during the outbreak in the KSA. Of the 24-cases with details, four were female, the ages ranged from 27 to 76 and the average age was 54.1

Now to the really interesting data-points, some queries and a counter-factual.

  • A quick look at my Db tells me that during the period July – September 2013 there were approximately 56-cases of MERS (not including any that formed part of the 113 that were belatedly added without details). My first question: Is MERS on the decline given that the epidemiological curve seems to have declined by half since last year?
  • Even though the cases are very low the spread of the disease is extremely widespread. Over the past 100-days MERS has cropped up in Abu Dhabi (882km west from Riyadh via Route 10), Najran (974km south via Route 10), Taif (994km south-east via Route 40) and Arar (1,157km north-east via Route 65). My next question. Can someone explain why the cases are so low but seem to be so widespread?
  • There have been seven confirmed cases in Riyadh which has a population of 4-million and six cases in Taif, population approximately 500,000. Is there any reason why Taif is currently overburdened with the limited amount of cases?
  • The provisional CFR over the past 100-days seems very low at just 8%. Is that due to better care, less cases, better surge capacity, declining potency or another reason?
  • My last data point is really a counter-factual on the data that has been presented over the past three-months. The release of a second tranche of non-notified cases (this time 17 as compared to the previous 113) has to be questioned more deeply. You can always allow for a mistake but two is either a conspiracy or a cock-up. If it is a conspiracy are the Saudi’s ‘juking the stats’ in order to protect travellers from the Hajj? Are the Saudi’s using the current Ebola outbreak to limit the amount of information they are sharing? If it’s a cock-up why was it allowed to happen a second time in the lead up to the Hajj.

In Summary

Looking at the previous 100-days of data has me asking a number of questions. Is MERS on the decline? Why is the CFR so low? Why are the cases so widespread? Why has one small city got as many cases as the capital?

There are two incontestable facts. One: During the past 100-days MERS-CoV has been widespread across Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Two: I also know where it hasn’t officially been.

Mecca.

Make of that what you will…

Random Analytics: Ebola across Africa (to 1 Oct 2014)

We are pleased to say we have controlled the spread of the epidemic.” Francois Fall, Foreign Minister, Guinea (14 April 2014).

First and foremost, I want the American people to know that our experts, here at the CDC and across our government, agree that the chances of an Ebola outbreak here in the United States are extremely low.” Barack Obama, President, United States of America (16 September 2014)

As the United States grapples with its first case of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) it is worth noting that the disease is ravaging West Africa causing thousands of deaths, destroying capabilities, causing starvation and reeking further economic devastation across one of the poorest regions in the world.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) which issued new data on the 1st October 2014 the West African EVD outbreak, which is ongoing now has 7,178 clinical cases with 2,800 in past 21 days (39.1%); and 3,338 deaths (a provisional Case Fatality Rate or CFR of 46.5%). Health Care Workers who are the front-line workers in the fight against EVD are also overly represented in the casualty statistics. Currently there have been 377 clinical cases (5.3%) and 216 deaths (6.5%). The latest update does not include the new case which presented in the United States.

What started as a post-graduate project to build a five-minute Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) lesson utilising just five graphs and six-dot points has now turned into more than 20 charts and infographics.

Here is a look at four charts or infographics of EVD across Africa with WHO data confirmed to 28 September and where applicable will include the US case.

Ebola across Africa

01 - Ebola_AcrossAfrica_141002

The Ebola across Africa infographic details the country specific outbreaks of Ebola since it was first discovered in 1976 (with a 1972 retrospective case from Zaire included). When I first completed this infographic in April the bulk of the outbreaks of Ebola Zaire had occurred in Central Africa with the Democratic Republic of Congo being the country most impacted in terms of outbreaks, cases and deaths.

Three interesting data-points have occurred over the past half-year. The first data-point is the fact that the weight of Ebola Zaire cases has shifted from Central Africa to West Africa (and now includes Nigeria and Senegal as countries where the disease has exported itself to). The second point is while EVD ravages West Africa another unconnected outbreak has occurred in the DRC.

The last point I think is really interesting and not fully reflected in the infographic is the differential between health expenditure of those countries impacted by Ebola in Africa versus that spent in the United States. In Africa the impacted countries health expenditure per capita ranges from just $15 in the DRC to $96 in Sierra Leone, while in the United States the amount is $8,895.

Notes: The 1976 – 2004 outbreaks of Ebola Sudan occurred in the bottom half of Sudan (now South Sudan). Zaire was renamed the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1997. Health expenditure per capita is expressed in $USD and represents 2012 data.

Ebola (Top 10 Outbreaks by Case Numbers)

02 - Ebola_Top10OutbreaksByCaseNos_141002

The first chart displays the top 10 outbreaks in order of case numbers. Each horizontal bar is filled with the flag(s) of the country where the outbreak occurred. In the case of the West African outbreak there are now six countries involved and the flags are in order sorted by number of cases.

With clinical cases now above 7,100 the West African outbreak has now become largest Ebola outbreak in history based on both case numbers (7,179) and fatalities (3,338). The second largest outbreak was of Ebola Sudan which occurred in Uganda (2000) when 425 became infected and 224 died.

Another couple of very interesting data-points. The first is the fact that the West African outbreak is the now the first to cross national land borders and the first to travel internationally out of Africa. The only other recording of an EVD that jumped borders prior to this outbreak was the Gabon/RSA (1996) outbreak. In that instance a doctor caught the disease in Gabon and subsequently took an international flight to South Africa where he became ill and infected other Health Care Workers (HCWs).

The second interesting point is the inclusion of the latest DRC outbreak. With 70-cases and 42-deaths recorded to date it has now moved into the 9th largest outbreak by case numbers.

Ebola (Cases by Classification and Year)

03 - Ebola_CasesbyClassYear_141002

The next chart shows cases by classification (in order they are Ebola Zaire, Sudan, Bundibugyo, Reston and Ivory Coast) by year, split into those recovered or those deceased (which follows in a red variant) and ordered from most impacted to least impacted year. Due to the severity of the latest outbreak I have removed 2014 as a column and included it as a separate pie chart.

The combined West African and DRC outbreaks has become the most significant in terms of case numbers by year, eclipsing the 1976 dual outbreaks (Zaire and Sudan) which saw 603 cases and 431 deaths (a combined Case Fatality Rate of 71.5%).

Notes: Several years had just one case. They are 1972 (a retrospective fatality of Ebola Zaire in Zaire), 1977 (a single case of Ebola Zaire in Zaire), 1988 (an accidental infection of Ebola Zaire in Porton Down, UK) and 2011 (a single fatality of Ebola Sudan in Uganda).

The West African Outbreak – Cases & Fatalities by Month

04 - WestAfrica_Cases~FatalitiesMonth_141002

The final chart shows both case numbers and fatalities by month. Each column is split into the five impacted countries (the USA will most likely find its place with the October data). The data is visualised by the varying national flags.

The obvious data-point from the infographic is that the epidemic curve continues to increase month on month with data still outstanding for the 29th and 30th of September.

Summary

Over the past 24-hours a lot has been made of the first case reported from the United States. As much as that is bad news the disease is destroying several countries as we speak so I am hopeful that the attention the US case creates might mean more support for the countries that are currently doing it very tough.

 

Data Sources

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

 

 

 

Random Analytics: Ebola in West Africa – HCW Impacts (to 14 Sep 2014)

Yesterday I did a lengthy post on some of the Workforce Planning considerations that need to be considered in the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak currently underway in West Africa. One of my key recommendations to those with an ability to elicit change was to put more focus on data-gaps in a range of key job roles, rather than just counting the HCW dead.

One of the issues that I discovered during my writing yesterday is that if I was a Workforce Planner working on the requirements of this outbreak I need to start to split my base level, or Hard-to-Fill (HtF) roles into another group. The new group would be defined as Hard-to-Replace (HtR) roles, which is a role that has become highly risk adverse to long lengths of medical treatment or fatality. The EVD outbreak has, to 14 September 2014 claimed more than 150 Health Care Worker lives and infected more than 300 including some of the Operationally Critical Job Roles (OCJR) in a region which was largely devoid of a depth of professional skill-sets, especially those with health training.

In response to the lack of publically sourced infographics in this space I thought I would complete something new which focussed on Health Care Workers. The term Health Care Workers is a Job Family and a very high level broad brush. It would be more relevant, given the loss of hundreds in this skill-set to start concentrating on how many Specialists, GPs and Nurses that we needed to replace.

That aside, the three most impact countries are Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have lost more than 300 Health Care Workers to EVD in recent months. Here is an infographic to emphasise the losses on the ground:

1 - EbolaInWAfrica_HCW_Sep2014

Here is the data from the most recent update provided by the WHO:

2 - EbolaInWAfrica_HCW_WHOUpdate_140914

In summary I would like to congratulate the WHO on their fantastic epidemiological data that comes out of their offices in what some are calling the worst health disaster in many generations. My main contention from my PeakJobs piece was to suggest the need for updating the global public, not only in the lagging indicators (such as the deaths of individuals or HCW’s) but to also emphasise the demand analysis side.

Demand analysis of recent losses and a massive surge in HCW resources in the fight against EVD will stop the outbreak, treat the infected more efficiently, assist with essential services (such as sanitation and logistics), preserve stability and prevent further outbreaks.

All the things that the UN suggested were possible with Resolution 2177.

 

Data Sources

[1] United Nations Security Council. With Spread of Ebola Outpacing Response, Security Council Adopts Resolution 2177 (2014) Urging Immediate Action, End to Isolation of Affected States. Accessed 20 September 2014.
[2] World Health Organisation. Ebola Response Roadmap: 28 August 2014. Pg. 5. Accessed 5 September 2014.

Random Analytics: Ebola in Liberia (March to 11 Sep 2014)

The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Liberia has just updated their Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) data up to and including cases and fatalities to 11 September 2014. When I did my last update on 19 August 2014 I made note that the case numbers had topped 1,000 and deaths were nearing 600. As you can see by the following infographic the clinical cases have now breached 2,500 and the deaths have more than doubled to more than 1,300.

7 - EbolaInLiberiaSep2014(P)

Updating the Ebola in Liberia infographic for September on my Random Analytics site forced me to look back at the data story for that country which has been fluid with a lot missed opportunities and a lot more that has gone down the memory hole. I thought it might be worthwhile putting together a short montage of my data stories which focus on the cases and fatalities since the start of the outbreak by month.

I think the biggest data point’s for me is the fact that EVD hit Liberia, effectively disappeared from a data and a policy perspective then mysteriously came back with a vengeance. It doesn’t make any sense to me and I think represents a massive own goal by the Liberian government as well as a lack of situational awareness by the intergovernmental bodies which were set-up to ensure that these type of situations don’t spin out of control.

 

Data Sources

[1] d-maps.com. Liberia / Republic of Liberia. Accessed 22 August 2014.
[2] Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. Liberia Ebola Sitrep no. 119. Government of Liberia. Accessed 15 September 2014.

Random Analytics: The West African Ebola Outbreak (to 31 Aug 2014)

Here are three updated charts of the 2014 Ebola Virus Disease outbreak using a number of primary sources including the most recent World Health Organisation Disease Outbreak News (DON) released 4 September 2014 with data to the end of August. As new updates occur I try to update the charts and promulgate via Twitter.

***** Please note that all EVD infographics in this series were updated with public source information to 4 September 2014 *****

Ebola (Top 10 Outbreaks by Case Numbers)

01 - Ebola_Top10OutbreaksByCaseNos_140905

The first chart displays the top 10 outbreaks in order of case numbers. Each horizontal bar is filled with the flag(s) of the country where the outbreak occurred. In the case of the West African outbreak there are now five countries involved and the flags are in number of cases order.

With clinical cases now reaching more than 3,700 the West African outbreak has now become largest Ebola outbreak in history based on both case numbers (3,707) and fatalities (1,848). The second largest outbreak was of Ebola Sudan which occurred in Uganda (2000) when 425 became infected and 224 died. The recent outbreak is the first to migrate across international land borders. The only other recording of an EVD that jumped borders prior to this outbreak was the Gabon/RSA (1996) outbreak. In that instance a doctor caught the disease in Gabon and subsequently took an international flight to South Africa where he became ill and infected other Health Care Workers (HCWs).

Ebola (Cases by Classification and Year)

02 - Ebola_CasesbyClassYear_140905

The second chart shows cases by classification (in order they are Ebola Zaire, Sudan, Bundibugyo, Reston and Ivory Coast) by year and then split into those recovered or those deceased (which follows in a red variant). The combined West African and DRC outbreaks has become the most significant in terms of case numbers by year, eclipsing the 1976 dual outbreaks (Zaire and Sudan) which saw 603 cases and 431 deaths (a combined Case Fatality Rate of 71.5%).

On a side note I really need to re-organise this chart to display 2014 horizontally because the sheer size of the outbreak has destroyed any clarity of previous years. A project for next week.

Currently the provisional Western African outbreak has seen 3,760 cases and 1,861 deaths (a CFR of 49.5%).

Notes: Several years had just one case. They are 1972 (a retrospective fatality of Ebola Zaire in Zaire), 1977 (a single case of Ebola Zaire in Zaire), 1988 (an accidental infection of Ebola Zaire in Porton Down, UK) and 2011 (a single fatality of Ebola Sudan in Uganda).

The West African Outbreak – Cases & Fatalities by Month

03 - WestAfrica_Cases~FatalitiesMonth_140905

The final chart shows both case numbers and fatalities by month. Each column is split into the five impacted countries with data visualised by the varying national flags.

Although I am only an amateur epidemiologist this has been a very telling chart and details how the epidemic curve has continued to increase over time. According to predictions by the World Health Organisation the outbreak may continue to grow and infect up to 20,000 persons so we are more than likely to see a further increase in both case and fatality numbers in September.

 

If you are interested in following this developing story I would suggest you follow/read Helen Branswell (Canadian health journalist for the in-depth stories) or Crawford Kilian and his excellent health related blog for all the big health related chatter including links to key Ebola persons and organisations.

For really good analysis and consistently updated charts in professional charting software (Tableau, Piktochart et al) I favour fellow Queensland Ian M. Mackay and on the other side of the Pacific pond, Maia Majumder. I do a range of other infographics (I like to think of them as data paintings) including analysis in the Flublogia space, when I find the time. My last health related piece was on Ebola in Sierra Leone.

 

Data Sources

[1] World Health Organisation. Ebola virus disease outbreak – west Africa: Disease Outbreak News – 4 September 2014. Accessed 5 September 2014.
[2] World Health Organisation. Ebola Response Roadmap: 28 August 2014. Pg. 5. Accessed 5 September 2014.

Random Analytics: Ebola in Sierra Leone (to 31 Aug 2014)

I noted recently that Crawford Kilian (whom I now read almost daily to give me a break from my current Workforce Planning responsibilities) stated that the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation had moved from an adhoc social media channel to a more developed website and it was very good.

I completely concur.

The Ministry of Health and Sanitation for the Sierra Leone Government has recently updated its Situation Report (SITREP) on the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) to the 31st August 2014. It is recommended viewing but here is an infographic of the situation, along with a data review for the Government of Sierra Leone for consideration (the latest update comes with a data anomaly) and a couple of laymen questions.

01 - Ebola_SierraLeone_140903

The Ebola in Sierra Leone (by District) infographic details the cases and fatalities from EVD including probable and suspected cases. Each District which is impacted by is listed with each figure representing 10x lives and then colour coded (see notes). The provisional CFR is based on total numbers and might not represent the Ministry of Health and Sanitation figures.

It should be noted that the outbreak is ongoing so these numbers are still very provisional.

2 - SierraLeone_StatsByDistrict_140903

The next is a table which highlights a very minor data anomaly (in red), which I will pass on immediately to the staff at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.

Data anomaly aside, I hope that my small intrusion into their daily (and more important work that I am currently completing) adds some value. I know that the Ministry is under huge pressure and that their work truly does matter.

Final Thoughts, Predictions or Problems:

I’ve no problem with the data-cleansing itself anymore, outside of a small anomaly. The Sierra Leone government should be congratulated on its better presentation of the data, especially given its background story, low infrastructure prior to this new medical crisis and recent history in terms of civil war etc.

Yet I find some issues with the current data presented. I’m sure there are answers to these issues but there are questions that must be answered:

The Confirmed Fatality Rate for the most impacted regional Districts seems reasonable given the economic constraints of the country. I note the Districts of Kailahun and Kenema have a current total provisional CFR in the 40-percentile range. Yet, a couple of questions:

  • The current CFR in Western Rural is 3.9% (yet including all cases is 57 including four deaths with a CRF of 7%; both totals seem a bit low; and:
  • The big unexplainable for me is the CFR in Port Loko which the latest update currently states is just 2.9%. Given that when I last looked at the data (to 13 August) the CFR was 12% with 25-cases there has been either an anomaly with the data or a health deployment that I am not yet across.

Data Sources

[1] d-maps.com. Africa: states, main cities. Accessed 28 August 2014.
[2] d-maps.com. Sierra Leone / Republic of Sierra Leone: boundaries, districts, main cities. Accessed 2 September 2014.
[3] Ministry of Health and Sanitation. Ebola Virus Disease – Situation Report (Sit-Rep) – 01 September, 2014. Sierra Leone Government. Accessed 2 September 2014.

Random Analytics: Australian Mining Employment (Aug 2014)

Mining continues to play an important part in the overall economy of Australia. For all of the discussion about the sector many people don’t realise that mining only employs 264,400 (source: ABS). This is just a fraction of Australia’s total labour force and even that number is often conflated given that many who work in mining are employed on infrastructure or services activities rather than directly in operations.

Each month I spend some time collating stories from a wide range of industry and media sources to build some analytics around the current state of mining employment in Australia. The month of August 2014 was quieter than previous months when more than 3,000 jobs were lost in June and another 1,000+ in July yet at the end of August we still saw more jobs lost than gained.

Here are the charts for Australian Mining Employment through to the end of August 2014.

1 - MiningJobsByState_Infographic_Aug2014_140901

The opening infographic looks at total job gains and losses by State or Territory for the month of August. Where a job cannot be affixed to a certain site then the losses or gains are attributed to Australia (Non Specified).

Data-Points: Queensland was the only state to lose more jobs than it gained, while New South Wales and Western Australia picked up a small amount each. Two Australian companies, ResCo and Bluestone Global, cut 330 staff across the country.

2 - MiningGainsLosses_Chart_140901

The first employment chart looks at the previous 24-months from a total mining employment gain and loss perspective. The positive employment numbers are split into those that reflect infrastructure (tan) and operational (blue) gains. Job losses are then split into operational (red) and mining services (maroon). Mining services can include mining specific service centres, distribution, back-office functions and transport (thanks to learitee from the Australian Mining online community for the suggestion).

Data-Points: All of the 520 job gains in August were operational including the Baralaba North Coal expansion (QLD, Coal, 200); Maules Creek (NSW, Coal, 100) and I’ve included the 120 staffers at the recently opened QCLNG Gas Operations Hub. On the minus side Peabody Energy cut 350 staff from Burton Coal (QLD) including 100 contractors by text message and Glencore cut another 100 from its Newlands Coal (QLD) site.

3 - MiningResourceGainsLosses_Chart_140901

The next employment chart looks in more detail at the main resource types (Iron Ore, Coal, Gold/Copper, Zinc/Lead/Nickel, CSG/LNG and Uranium) by either a job gain or a loss.

Data-Points:

  • Although Coal gained 300-jobs it also lost 466 making this the 26th consecutive month of losses in that resource type;
  • Across the six resource types there was actually a gain of 6-jobs overall.

4 - MiningSectorSentiment_Chart_140901

The last chart tracks employment gains and losses sentiment and is now back dated to October 2011.

Data-Points: Sentiment took a slightly negative turn this month even with a lot of positive news including final approvals for Adani’s Carmichael Coal (QLD) and other smaller sites. With iron ore now touching on $80pmt during the month it has been hard to generate much good news in the West and Venture Minerals Riley Iron Ore (TAS) has deferred its project claiming approvals delays on top of poor pricing.

Another interesting point is that now I’ve pushed back the sentiment to Q4 2011 you can now see a lengthy period of good sentiment. That period of positive sentiment represented the sustained period of growth following the global recession stimulus package implemented by the Chinese several years before.

Juking the Stats (August 2014)

WorleyParsons again cut a significant amount of jobs across its global network. Recent news reports are stating they cut 1,700 jobs this year yet my research tells me the number is more likely to be 1,900. Furthermore this is the latest in a tranche of cuts and I believe they are close to cutting 4,800 since late 2012. WorleyParsons always discuss global job-cuts but given that most of their losses are currently occurring in Australia I suspect the bulk of recent layoffs would be amongst Australian employees. No journalist that I can see has put that question to them.

Summary

Not the best month but neither was it the worst. I continue to see trouble brewing if the iron ore price remains at $80pmt so I would be keeping a weather-eye on that over the next couple of months.

Random Analytics: Ebola in the DRC (to 27 Aug 2014)

Over the past 24-hours the World Health Organisation has confirmed another outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), this time in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Although the Ebola species hasn’t yet been confirmed Ian M. Mackay (who knows a thing or two about this subject) suspects it might be Sudan Ebolavirus (read his excellent post and view his infographic here). To give you an idea where Equateur province is in relation to the DRC I’ve put together an infographic but have failed to locate where Ikanamongo Village is (where the index case ate the bush animal, possibly a bat and became ill).

According to my historical reckoning this would be the eighth outbreak of EVD in the DRC, six of Ebola Zaire, one of Ebola Bundibugyo and the most recent which remains unconfirmed. It should be noted that my count includes the retrospective confirmation of Ebola Zaire from 1972. If it does turn out to be a variant of Ebola Sudan then this would be the ninth iteration of the disease with 3 confirmations in what is now South Sudan, four in Uganda, one accidental infection in the UK and potentially the most recent DRC outbreak.

1 - Ebola_DRC_140828

Via the World Health Organisation. Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of Congo Disease outbreak news 27 August 2014. Excerpt:

Epidemiology and surveillance

On 26 August 2014, the Ministry of Health, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of an outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Equateur Province.

The index case was a pregnant woman from Ikanamongo Village who butchered a bush animal that had been killed and given to her by her husband. She became ill with symptoms of EVD and reported to a private clinic in Isaka Village. On 11 August 2014, she died of a then-unidentified haemorrhagic fever. Local customs and rituals associated with death meant that several health-care workers were exposed and presented with similar symptoms in the following week.

Between 28 July and 18 August 2014, a total of 24 suspected cases of haemorrhagic fever, including 13 deaths, have been identified. Human-to-human transmission has been established and includes the health-care personnel who were exposed to the deceased pregnant woman during surgery (one doctor and two nurses) in addition to the hygienist and a ward boy, all of whom developed symptoms and died. Other deaths have been recorded among the relatives who attended the index case, individuals who were in contact with the clinic staff, and those who handled the bodies of the deceased during funerals. The other 11 cases are currently being treated in isolation centres.

Samples have been sent to laboratories in Kinshasa and in Gabon for confirmation of EVD and to identify the strain. The index case and the 80 contacts have no history of travel to the EVD-affected countries in West Africa (Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, or Sierra Leone) or history of contact with individuals from the affected areas. At this time, it is believed that the outbreak in DRC is unrelated to the ongoing outbreak in west Africa.

 

Data Sources

[1] d-maps.com. Africa: states, main cities. Accessed 28 August 2014.
[2] d-maps.com. Democratic Republic of the Congo / République Democratique du Congo: boundaries, provinces, main cities. Accessed 26 August 2014.
[3] Wikipedia. File:Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svg. Accessed 28 August 2014.
[4] World Health Organisation. Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of Congo Disease outbreak news 27 August 2014. Accessed 28 August 2014.

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