Spatiotemporal models for virus outbreaks using genomes Freetown1 gravity model Data-driven modeling of the spatiotemporal dynamics of the 2013-2016 Ebola epidemic has yielded new insights into the outbreak. The left panel illustrates a set of genetically-linked Ebola cases appearing in different chiefdoms across Sierra Leone. The heat map (right panel) indicates the probability of a new Ebola case being genetically linked to a case in Freetown, the capital and largest city. Spatial models of the epidemic based on these genetic linkages identify a changing behavior of the Ebola outbreak: population centers influence the early and middle portion of the epidemic. The population effect decreases significantly in the final time period. This adaptive, model-based framework, enabled by virus genome data, could help guide interventions during the next outbreak.
Credit: Kyle B. Gustafson and Joshua L. Proctor
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