Ring vaccination could help limit spread of Ebola

Ring vaccination efficacy questioned in Ebola containment
Ring vaccination efficacy questioned in Ebola containment | Courtesy of
Scientists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London recently conducted a study to determine the efficacy of the ring vaccination in large-scale Ebola outbreaks such as the one ongoing in West Africa.

Ring vaccination, which was used to control small pox, involves identifying and vaccinating everyone who comes in contact with someone diagnosed with a disease. The "ring" then continues with anyone exposed to the first group of people also being identified and vaccinated.

Using an Ebola virus disease transmission model containing data from a Phase 3 ring vaccination trial that began in Guinea, the British scientists discovered that although using the ring vaccination at the beginning of an outbreak such as the one in West Africa could not contain the virus, it could reduce the overall number of cases by limiting transmission.

Based on this, the researchers came to the conclusion that ring vaccinations can play an important role in containing Ebola outbreaks if proper public health measures are taken in a timely manner. Without such measures, the researchers said other Ebola control strategies would need to be considered, including hybrid ring and mass vaccination approaches.

A full report on the study's finding can be found in Emerging Infectious Diseases,

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U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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