Quick and forceful implementation of control interventions are necessary to control Ebola outbreaks and avoid worse scenarios, says a new research out of Nigeria.
Researchers analyzed up-to-date epidemiological data of Ebola cases in Nigeria as of Oct. 1, 2014, in order to estimate the case fatality rate, proportion of health care workers infected, transmission progression and impact of control interventions on the size of the epidemic.
Arizona State University's Gerardo Chowell, senior author, accounted use of epidemic modeling to project the size of the outbreak in Nigeria if control interventions had been implemented during various time periods after the initial case and estimated how many cases had thus been prevented by early initiation of interventions.
Asymptomatic individuals were separated from those showing symptoms and those who tested negative without symptoms were discharged. People showing Ebola symptoms were held in an isolation ward if they had contacted with an initial case. Once Ebola was confirmed through testing, people with Ebola were moved to a treatment center.
Researchers found that the projected effect of control interventions in Nigeria ranged from 15-106 cases when interventions are put in place on day 3; 20-178 cases when implemented on day 10; 23-282 cases on day 20; 60-666 cases on day 30; 39-1599 cases on day 40; and 93-2771 on day 50. Control measures enacted by the researchers in Nigeria suggested that all Ebola transmission is dramatically influenced by how rapidly control measures are put in place.
The largest Ebola outbreak to date is ongoing in West Africa with approximately 8,011 reported cases including more than 3,857 deaths as of Oct. 5. Twenty Ebola cases have been reported in Nigeria, with no new cases reported since September 5, 2014. All of the cases stem from a single traveler returning from Liberia in July.
The paper was published in Eurosurveillance.