Isolating the sickest infected individuals before they progress into their late phase of illness can effectively eliminate the Ebola epidemic in Liberia, reveals a new study.
Researchers developed a random transmission model to determine how disease progression and case fatality affect transmission and how patient isolation could achieve disease elimination and found the risk for transmitting Ebola depends on the magnitude of viral load in an infected individual and the number of people with which the infected individual interacts.
The survivors were found to have a 32 percent probability of infecting at least one other individual during their infection period. In non-survivors, viral load is 100-fold higher than that of survivors throughout infection and does not decline after peak. Non-survivors also exhibit more severe Ebola-specific symptoms as illness progresses.
The study revealed that non-survivors had a 67 percent probability of transmitting Ebola to at least one other person and the model suggests that isolating the most severely ill individuals (the likely non-survivors) within four days of symptom onset could achieve disease elimination in Liberia.
The study was published in Annals of Internal Medicine.