Epidemiological Dynamics of Ebola Outbreaks

  1. Thomas House  Is a corresponding author
  1. University of Warwick, United Kingdom

Abstract

Ebola is a deadly virus that causes frequent disease outbreaks in the human population. Here, we analyse its rate of new introductions, case fatality ratio, and potential to spread from person to person. The analysis is performed for all completed outbreaks, and for a scenario where these are augmented by a more severe outbreak of several thousand cases. The results show a fast rate of new outbreaks, a high case fatality ratio, and an effective reproductive ratio of just less than 1.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Thomas House

    University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom
    For correspondence
    T.A.House@warwick.ac.uk
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Prabhat Jha, University of Toronto, Canada

Publication history

  1. Received: July 6, 2014
  2. Accepted: September 11, 2014
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: September 12, 2014 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: October 17, 2014 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2014, House

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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  1. Thomas House
(2014)
Epidemiological Dynamics of Ebola Outbreaks
eLife 3:e03908.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03908

Further reading

    1. Epidemiology and Global Health
    2. Immunology and Inflammation
    James A Hay, Stephen M Kissler ... Yonatan H Grad
    Research Article Updated

    Background:

    The combined impact of immunity and SARS-CoV-2 variants on viral kinetics during infections has been unclear.

    Methods:

    We characterized 1,280 infections from the National Basketball Association occupational health cohort identified between June 2020 and January 2022 using serial RT-qPCR testing. Logistic regression and semi-mechanistic viral RNA kinetics models were used to quantify the effect of age, variant, symptom status, infection history, vaccination status and antibody titer to the founder SARS-CoV-2 strain on the duration of potential infectiousness and overall viral kinetics. The frequency of viral rebounds was quantified under multiple cycle threshold (Ct) value-based definitions.

    Results:

    Among individuals detected partway through their infection, 51.0% (95% credible interval [CrI]: 48.3–53.6%) remained potentially infectious (Ct <30) 5 days post detection, with small differences across variants and vaccination status. Only seven viral rebounds (0.7%; N=999) were observed, with rebound defined as 3+days with Ct <30 following an initial clearance of 3+days with Ct ≥30. High antibody titers against the founder SARS-CoV-2 strain predicted lower peak viral loads and shorter durations of infection. Among Omicron BA.1 infections, boosted individuals had lower pre-booster antibody titers and longer clearance times than non-boosted individuals.

    Conclusions:

    SARS-CoV-2 viral kinetics are partly determined by immunity and variant but dominated by individual-level variation. Since booster vaccination protects against infection, longer clearance times for BA.1-infected, boosted individuals may reflect a less effective immune response, more common in older individuals, that increases infection risk and reduces viral RNA clearance rate. The shifting landscape of viral kinetics underscores the need for continued monitoring to optimize isolation policies and to contextualize the health impacts of therapeutics and vaccines.

    Funding:

    Supported in part by CDC contract #200-2016-91779, a sponsored research agreement to Yale University from the National Basketball Association contract #21-003529, and the National Basketball Players Association.