Risk assessment of Ebola virus disease spreading in Uganda using a multilayer temporal network
Riad, Mahbubul H.
Scoglio, Caterina M
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Network-based modelling of infectious diseases apply compartmental models on a contact network, which makes the epidemic process crucially dependent on the network structure. For highly contagious diseases such as Ebola virus disease (EVD), the inter-personal contact plays the most vital role in the human to human transmission. Therefore, for accurate representation of the EVD spreading, the contact network needs to resemble the reality. Prior research work has mainly focused on static networks (only permanent contacts) or activity driven networks (only temporal contacts) for Ebola spreading. A comprehensive network for EVD spreading should include both these network structures, as there are always some permanent contacts together with temporal contacts. Therefore, we propose a multilayer temporal network for Uganda, which is at risk of Ebola outbreak from the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) epidemic. The network has a permanent layer representing permanent contacts among individuals within family level, and a data driven temporal network for human movements motivated by cattle trade, fish trade, or general communications. We propose a Gillespie algorithm with the susceptible-infected-recovered (SIR) compartmental model to simulate the evolution of the EVD spreading as well as to evaluate the risk throughout our network. As an example, we applied our method to a multilayer network consisting of 23 districts along different movement routes in Uganda starting from bordering districts of DRC to Kampala. Simulation results shows that some regions are at higher risk of infection, suggesting some focal points for Ebola preparedness and providing direction to inform interventions in the field. Simulation results also shows that decreasing physical contacts as well as increasing preventive measures result in a reduction of chances to develop an outbreak. Overall, the main contribution of this paper lies in the novel method for risk assessment, the accuracy of which can be increased by increasing the amount and the accuracy of the data used to build the network and the model.