Matching Items (3)

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Theoretical perspectives on the infectiousness of Ebola virus disease

Description

Background
Ebola virus disease (EVD) has generated a large epidemic in West Africa since December 2013. This mini-review is aimed to clarify and illustrate different theoretical concepts of infectiousness in

Background
Ebola virus disease (EVD) has generated a large epidemic in West Africa since December 2013. This mini-review is aimed to clarify and illustrate different theoretical concepts of infectiousness in order to compare the infectiousness across different communicable diseases including EVD.
Methods
We employed a transmission model that rests on the renewal process in order to clarify theoretical concepts on infectiousness, namely the basic reproduction number, R[subscript 0], which measures the infectiousness per generation of cases, the force of infection (i.e. the hazard rate of infection), the intrinsic growth rate (i.e. infectiousness per unit time) and the per-contact probability of infection (i.e. infectiousness per effective contact).
Results
Whereas R[subscript 0] of EVD is similar to that of influenza, the growth rate (i.e. the measure of infectiousness per unit time) for EVD was shown to be comparatively lower than that for influenza. Moreover, EVD and influenza differ in mode of transmission whereby the probability of transmission per contact is lower for EVD compared to that of influenza.
Conclusions
The slow spread of EVD associated with the need for physical contact with body fluids supports social distancing measures including contact tracing and case isolation. Descriptions and interpretations of different variables quantifying infectiousness need to be used clearly and objectively in the scientific community and for risk communication.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-01-06

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Characterizing the Transmission Dynamics and Control of Ebola Virus Disease

Description

Carefully calibrated transmission models have the potential to guide public health officials on the nature and scale of the interventions required to control epidemics. In the context of the ongoing

Carefully calibrated transmission models have the potential to guide public health officials on the nature and scale of the interventions required to control epidemics. In the context of the ongoing Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic in Liberia, Drake and colleagues, in this issue of PLOS Biology, employed an elegant modeling approach to capture the distributions of the number of secondary cases that arise in the community and health care settings in the context of changing population behaviors and increasing hospital capacity. Their findings underscore the role of increasing the rate of safe burials and the fractions of infectious individuals who seek hospitalization together with hospital capacity to achieve epidemic control. However, further modeling efforts of EVD transmission and control in West Africa should utilize the spatial-temporal patterns of spread in the region by incorporating spatial heterogeneity in the transmission process. Detailed datasets are urgently needed to characterize temporal changes in population behaviors, contact networks at different spatial scales, population mobility patterns, adherence to infection control measures in hospital settings, and hospitalization and reporting rates.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-01-21

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Did Modeling Overestimate the Transmission Potential of Pandemic (H1N1-2009)? Sample Size Estimation for Post-Epidemic Seroepidemiological Studies

Description

Background
Seroepidemiological studies before and after the epidemic wave of H1N1-2009 are useful for estimating population attack rates with a potential to validate early estimates of the reproduction number, R,

Background
Seroepidemiological studies before and after the epidemic wave of H1N1-2009 are useful for estimating population attack rates with a potential to validate early estimates of the reproduction number, R, in modeling studies.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Since the final epidemic size, the proportion of individuals in a population who become infected during an epidemic, is not the result of a binomial sampling process because infection events are not independent of each other, we propose the use of an asymptotic distribution of the final size to compute approximate 95% confidence intervals of the observed final size. This allows the comparison of the observed final sizes against predictions based on the modeling study (R = 1.15, 1.40 and 1.90), which also yields simple formulae for determining sample sizes for future seroepidemiological studies. We examine a total of eleven published seroepidemiological studies of H1N1-2009 that took place after observing the peak incidence in a number of countries. Observed seropositive proportions in six studies appear to be smaller than that predicted from R = 1.40; four of the six studies sampled serum less than one month after the reported peak incidence. The comparison of the observed final sizes against R = 1.15 and 1.90 reveals that all eleven studies appear not to be significantly deviating from the prediction with R = 1.15, but final sizes in nine studies indicate overestimation if the value R = 1.90 is used.
Conclusions
Sample sizes of published seroepidemiological studies were too small to assess the validity of model predictions except when R = 1.90 was used. We recommend the use of the proposed approach in determining the sample size of post-epidemic seroepidemiological studies, calculating the 95% confidence interval of observed final size, and conducting relevant hypothesis testing instead of the use of methods that rely on a binomial proportion.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2011-03-24