Modeling How Intervention Can Limit the Spread of Ebola Virus

Friday, February 12, 2016
Treena Chaudhuri, North Carolina Academy of Science, Charlotte, NC
In this study, the spread of Ebola in Sierra Leone is modeled to show the impact of intervention. A computational model adapted from Legrand et al shows how the virus spreads and how various methods of intervention can affect the epidemic. The data used applies to the current outbreak in Sierra Leone, but the model can be adapted to fit other areas. The model stems from the simple SIR algorithm (susceptible, infected, recovered/removed), but encompasses more variables and possibilities, resulting in the SEIHFR model (susceptible, exposed, infectious, hospitalized, funeral, recovered/removed). The multiple methods of intervention were shown to greatly reduce the amount of exposure, infection, and death from the Ebola virus. This shows the importance of intervention in West Africa, where the Ebola epidemic is concentrated, to limit the spread of the disease.