New epidemic model says Ebola in Liberia ‘could end by June’

A new computer model that takes into account not only features of the virus and how it transmits, but also what is being done to halt its spread, predicts that the Ebola epidemic in Liberia could end by June if current high rates of hospitalization and surveillance continue. The researchers believe their Ebola epidemic tool offers more realistic forecasts. "That's a realistic possibility but not a foregone conclusion," says John Drake, an ecology professor at the University of Georgia (UGA), who led the project to develop the model with other ecologists at UGA and also at Pennsylvania State University. The team reports how they developed the model and ran some scenarios through it, in the open access journal PLOS Biology. Prof. Drake says their epidemic model is probably the first to take into account factors such as where infections occur, where patients are treated, growth in hospital bed numbers, and the adoption of safe burial practices. READ MORE OF THIS STORY

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