But at this point, experts say the math is simple. The number of cases is already past the point of easy containment and infections are growing faster and faster, at what statisticians call an exponential rate.
Without dramatic steps, they worry that the epidemic will balloon across Florida and place an unprecedented strain on hospitals and health clinics.
Thomas Hladish, a University of Florida research scientist who specializes in disease modeling and has been advising the state on the outbreak, said that while epidemiologists might disagree on the nuances of their projections, they all agree on the main point.
“We do understand the math and the models well enough to say with great confidence that Florida is going to have a huge public health crisis,” Hladish said. “And we are just at the beginning of it right now.”