The ongoing epidemic of Ebola in West Africa has been the largest to date, claiming thousands of lives and decimating the healthcare infrastructure of the affected countries. The rapid spread of the disease across the three most badly affected countries (and incursions into a further three) has been the result of infected, but undetected, cases travelling to previously unaffected regions. Quantifying how human populations move is therefore key to understanding and predicting the risk of disease introduction. Thankfully, the epidemic is now being brought under control and the number of reported cases continues to fall steadily. However moving from this situation of control to elimination of the disease in humans is a daunting task, as any undetected cases have the potential to re-start outbreaks in regions where the disease has been removed.
The aim of this project is to identify areas at risk of importation of Ebola cases to help inform public health surveillance and intervention strategies during the current outbreak in West Africa. To this end we are developing a global and a regional model of importation risk and disseminating the results of these models (as maps) via this website. As we develop the models, and as the epidemiological situation changes, we will iteratively update these maps to provide the most contemporary and accurate information possible.
Please note that the current maps are at a very early stage. They will change rapidly as the models are improved and have not yet been fully validated
This iteration of models uses only publicly available data. As the project develops, we will provide the underlying methodology, data and code used to construct these risk maps in the interests of reproducibility and transparency.
This project is funded by the Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC) Programme, managed by ELRHA. The Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC) programme aims to improve health outcomes by strengthening the evidence base for public health interventions in humanitarian crises. Visit www.elrha.org/work/r2hc for more information. The £8 million R2HC programme is funded equally by the Wellcome Trust and DFID, with Enhancing Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance (ELRHA) overseeing the programme’s execution and management.