Yale study shows higher poverty correlates with higher Ebola transmission rates

Scientists from the Yale Center for Infectious Disease Modelling and Analysis, and from the Liberian Ministry of Health recently conducted a study that found people living in areas with higher poverty levels have higher transmission rates of the Ebola virus disease.

The researchers studied 3,532 Ebola cases during 2014, quantifying data showing the effect of poverty on transmission rates and the spread of the virus. Regions with extreme poverty have a higher association of Ebola’s spread and transmission.

The Ebola epidemic began in West Africa in October 2014. Currently, the epidemic is declining and health care workers have shifted their focus from emergency response to the best approaches for preventing and mitigating any potential Ebola outbreaks in the future.

Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, has high poverty rates with 68 percent of its population residing in slums. These neighborhoods are overcrowded and don’t have adequate sanitations.

The study included various factors, such as suspected, confirmed and probable Ebola cases as well as socioeconomic statuses according to the area’s sanitation, residence and population density.

The results showed there were not any statistically notable variances in deaths from Ebola and the high socioeconomic statuses. Unfortunately, there were higher transmission rates in low as well as middle socioeconomic classes.

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