Connecting the dots of Ebola spread dynamics

Liaquat Hossain, Fiona Kong, Rolf T. Wigand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We suggest that effective management of Ebola disaster and public health preparedness needs to focus on connecting the dots among different originating points of the spread using locally situated knowledge through community partnership networks so that the wider transmission to other geographic locations can be managed effectively and in a timely manner. Effective management of outbreaks, like the current West African 2014 Ebola epidemic, is dependent on public health preparedness. In this study, a systematic analysis of the spread during the months of March to October 2014 was performed using data from the Programme for Monitoring Emerging Diseases (ProMED) and the Factiva database. This study aims to draw network connections of individuals/groups from a localised to a globalised transmission of Ebola using reported suspected/probable/confirmed cases at different locations around the world. Public health preparedness can be strengthened by understanding the social network connections between responders (such as local health authorities) and spreaders (infected individuals and groups). Using data from ProMED and other media could be useful in improving the individual and organisational networks (i.e. forming stronger community partnerships) in developing settings to respond to an outbreak before an International Health Emergency has to be declared.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-289
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Decision Systems
Issue numberSupp 1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


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