Risk assessment of Ebola virus disease spreading in Uganda using a two-layer temporal network

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Scientific reports
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), interpersonal contact plays the most vital role in humanto- human transmission. Therefore, for accurate representation of EVD spreading, the contact network needs to resemble the reality. Prior research 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 two-layer temporal network for Uganda, which is at risk of an Ebola outbreak from the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) epidemic. The network has a permanent layer representing permanent contacts among individuals within the 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 EVD spreading as well as to evaluate the risk throughout our network. As an example, we applied our method to a network consisting of 23 districts along different movement routes in Uganda starting from bordering districts of the DRC to Kampala. Simulation results show 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 show that decreasing physical contact 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, which can be more precise with an increasing volume of accurate data for creating the network model.
Risk assessment, Ebola virus disease, Uganda, Network
Riad, M. H., Sekamatte, M., Ocom, F., Makumbi, I., & Scoglio, C. M. (2019). Risk assessment of Ebola virus disease spreading in Uganda using a two-layer temporal network. Scientific reports, 9(1), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-52501-1