David Pigott, University of Oxford.
The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa continues to grow, both in numbers infected and geographic range. In attempting to combat this disease and minimise future risk, a better understanding of the spatial ecology of Ebola is required.
The transmission cycle of Ebola is tied to a number of known, and unknown, animal reservoirs. As a result, Ebola can be considered as a two-step process: zoonotic transmission of the disease within wildlife hosts and with occasional spillover to humans, distinct from subsequent human-to-human transmission of the disease. These processes are influenced by very different factors and represent different spatial modelling challenges. By better understanding these spatial processes, more effective intervention and preventative measures can be put in place.