A Virtual Outbreak Offers Hints Of Ebola’s Future

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A Virtual Outbreak Offers Hints Of Ebola’s Future
August 14, 2014
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/08/14/340346575/a-virtual-outbreak-offers-hints-of-ebolas-future

« I’ve spent a lot of time doing computer models of disease transmission, but rarely does it involve something in Africa. Africa is often overlooked, » says Bryan Lewis, a computational epidemiologist at Virginia Tech.

« Some of those factors are the ones that are hard to measure, » he says. « You’ve got to choose how much of this complexity you care to explicitly represent. »

« At the moment, these models — at least for Sierra Leone and Liberia — we aren’t putting in any mitigating factors.

Given that all this modeling is as much an art as a science, different groups working on the problem have been comparing notes. They’ve also been fielding calls from government officials and policymakers.

Martin Meltzer, who heads up the unit at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that’s been creating computer models of the…

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