Ebola outbreaks: UCL-developed model may predict next one

The next Ebola outbreak could be predicted using a new UCL-developed model that tracks how changes to ecosystems and human societies combine to affect the spread of the deadly infectious disease.

The model could help policymakers to decide where to target vaccine deployment, or develop healthcare infrastructure, to reduce the risk of zoonotic disease outbreaks – illnesses that spread between animals and humans.

Analysis using a mathematical model, published today in Nature Communications, shows that several countries in Africa, including Nigeria, could be at risk of Ebola outbreaks both presently, and in the future, despite having experienced no known cases to date.

First author of the study, Dr David Redding (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment), said: “It is vital that we understand the complexities causing animal-borne diseases to spill-over into humans, to accurately predict outbreaks and help save lives.

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Source: Outbreak News Today