Spatiotemporal Fluctuations and Triggers of Ebola Virus Spillover
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Because the natural reservoir of Ebola virus remains unclear and disease outbreaks in humans have occurred only sporadically over a large region, forecasting when and where Ebola spillovers are most likely to occur constitutes a continuing and urgent public health challenge. We developed a statistical modeling approach that associates 37 human or great ape Ebola spillovers since 1982 with spatiotemporally dynamic covariates including vegetative cover, human population size, and absolute and relative rainfall over 3 decades across sub-Saharan Africa. Our model (area under the curve 0.80 on test data) shows that spillover intensity is highest during transitions between wet and dry seasons; overall, high seasonal intensity occurs over much of tropical Africa; and spillover intensity is greatest at high (>1,000/km2) and very low (<100/km2) human population densities compared with intermediate levels. These results suggest strong seasonality in Ebola spillover from wild reservoirs and indicate particular times and regions for targeted surveillance.
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Citation / Publisher Attribution
Emerging Infectious Diseases, v. 23, issue 3, p. 415-422
Scholar Commons Citation
Schmidt, John Paul; Park, Andrew W.; Kramer, Andrew M.; Han, Barbara A.; Alexander, Laura W.; and Drake, John M., "Spatiotemporal Fluctuations and Triggers of Ebola Virus Spillover" (2017). Integrative Biology Faculty and Staff Publications. 514.