A new risk assessment model for the transmission of Ebola accurately predicted its spread into the Republic of Uganda, according to the Kansas State University researchers who developed it.
Caterina Scoglio, professor, and Mahbubul Riad, doctoral student, both in the Mike Wiegers Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering at Kansas State University; Musa Sekamatte and Issa Makumbi at Uganda Ministry of Health; and Felix Ocom with the World Health Organization in Uganda, published “Risk assessment of Ebola virus disease spreading in Uganda using a multilayer temporal network” in bioRxiv on May 23.
The paper describes a new model to better predict how diseases like Ebola spread. The model combines data of people’s constant contacts — such as family members and co-workers — with their temporary contacts — such as people in a market or encountered during travel. According to Scoglio, the model should be used as a risk assessment tool to prepare and distribute resources, but it also has been accurate thus far regarding the movement of Ebola from the Democratic Republic of Congo into Uganda.
“This is very a new type of model,” Scoglio said. “Since we consider movement data in addition to constant contacts, we saw that not only are the districts directly bordering Congo at risk but that the districts on the path to some important Ugandan destinations also are at risk.”
Read more at Kansas State University