Scientists have used Ebola disease spread patterns and airline traffic data to predict a 75 percent chance the virus could be imported to France by October 24, and a 50 percent chance it could hit Britain by that date.
Those numbers are based on air traffic remaining at full capacity. Assuming an 80 percent reduction in travel to reflect that many airlines are halting flights to affected regions, France’s risk is still 25 percent, and Britain’s is 15 percent.
"It’s really a lottery," said Derek Gatherer of Britain’s Lancaster University, an expert in viruses who has been tracking the epidemic - the worst Ebola outbreak in history.
The deadly epidemic has killed more than 3,400 people since it began in West Africa in March and has now started to spread faster, infecting almost 7,200 people so far.
France is among countries most likely to be hit next because the worst affected countries - Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia - include French speakers and have busy travel routes back, while Britain’s Heathrow airport is one of the world’s biggest travel hubs.
"If this thing continues to rage on in West Africa and indeed gets worse, as some people have predicted, then it’s only a matter of time before one of these cases ends up on a plane to Europe," said Gatherer.（Reuters）
lottery：名詞，彩券、摸彩、碰運氣的事。例句：Finding a job there is a lottery.（要在那兒找到工作全得碰運氣。）
at (full) capacity：片語，以最大（最高）程度。例句：This factory is running at capacity on bicycles.（這家工廠正全力生產腳踏車。）
end up：片語，結束、告終。例句：She ended up head of the firm.（她最後成了這家公司的首長。）