Predicting the extinction of Ebola spreading in Liberia due to mitigation strategies
Valdez, L. D.
Aragao Rego, H. H.
Stanley, Harry Eugene
Braunstein, Lidia A.
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Citation (published version)L.D. Valdez, H.H. Aragao Rego, H.E. Stanley, L.A. Braunstein. 2015. "Predicting the extinction of Ebola spreading in Liberia due to mitigation strategies." SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, Volume 5, pp. ? - ? (10). https://doi.org/10.1038/srep12172
The Ebola virus is spreading throughout West Africa and is causing thousands of deaths. In order to quantify the effectiveness of different strategies for controlling the spread, we develop a mathematical model in which the propagation of the Ebola virus through Liberia is caused by travel between counties. For the initial months in which the Ebola virus spreads, we find that the arrival times of the disease into the counties predicted by our model are compatible with World Health Organization data, but we also find that reducing mobility is insufficient to contain the epidemic because it delays the arrival of Ebola virus in each county by only a few weeks. We study the effect of a strategy in which safe burials are increased and effective hospitalisation instituted under two scenarios: (i) one implemented in mid-July 2014 and (ii) one in mid-August—which was the actual time that strong interventions began in Liberia. We find that if scenario (i) had been pursued the lifetime of the epidemic would have been three months shorter and the total number of infected individuals 80% less than in scenario (ii). Our projection under scenario (ii) is that the spreading will stop by mid-spring 2015.
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