SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

Ebola epidemic model tracks effective eradication methods

Ebola epidemic model tracks effective eradication methods | Courtesy of webmd.com
Researchers have developed a mathematical model that demonstrates the various reasons that Sierra Leone has been able to eliminate the Ebola virus.

It is estimated that the World Health Organization (WHO) will soon announce that Sierra Leone is free of the Ebola virus. This leaves other nations asking how they can achieve the same eradication of the disease.

The mathematical model shows a variety of complex reasons why the virus has been eliminated from Sierra Leone. Heightened identification as well as isolation of cases of the infection were an important part in eradicating the virus from the region.

One of the ways Sierra Leone handled Ebola was to change how its people mourn death. It is a country that has many strong cultural traditions. Preventing people from physically touching the people who died from Ebola was an important way to stop the disease from spreading further.

The study involved Professor Glenn Webb as well as Professor Cameron Brown from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

"Our model simulations indicate that this enhanced removal of infectious individuals is key to elimination of the epidemic,” the authors of the study said. “This removal is quantified in our model in two ways: (1) with respect to the rate of infectious individuals hospitalized per day, and (2) with respect to an earlier disease age of the infectious individuals hospitalized. Both of these considerations are critical for epidemic control and both can be influenced by public health policies and public awareness."

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