Ebola Transmission Rate

by Hrithik S.

Overview

Ebola is a global epidemic. Although it only affects most of Africa, the effects can be felt all over the world. That is why, my team and I have done many tests and studies to find out more about this virus. This is one of our tests.
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Details of Project

To find the transmission rate of the Ebola virus, we had to develop an experiment that would show reasonable conclusions for the entire planet. We decided to create two different scenarios to model the transmission of the virus. One scenario would consist of people living in first-world countries and the other would consist of people living in a third-world countries. We chose a total of 2000 people to take part in our experiment. In the first-world scenario there will be a total of 800 people and in the third-world scenario there will be a total of 1200 people. The reason for this, is because most first-world countries have a lower population compared to the size of the country than third-world countries. All selected people will be from average-income group. To find the transmission rate, we will have to infect one person with the virus in each group. This test does not carry any health risk. The experiment will last for 400 days, and the results will be known at the end of the experiment.

Results

After 400 days, this is the data that was collected:
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As you can see from the results, the third-world scenario (blue line) had a much greater transmission rate than the first-world scenario. The equation of the third-world scenario was: y = -2.142x + 1200, where y is the total number of people not affected and where x is the number of days. -2.142 is the transmission rate (the negative shows a negative slope) and y-intercept, 1200, is the total number of people in this scenario. The equation of the first-world scenario was: y = -0.983x + 800, where y is the total number of people not affected and where x is the number of day. -0.983 is the transmission rate and the y-intercept, 800, is the total number of people in this scenario. We can see that these two lines intersect at around 345, 461. This means that after 345 days, 461 people still remain unaffected in both scenarios.

Conclusion

These results match our original hypothesis.. The transmission rate in first-world countries is minor, because cleanliness and hygiene are taken good care of, and medical support (such as doctors and medicines) are easily accessible. Whereas in third-world countries this is not the case. The transmission rate is greater because of the poor hygiene and little or no access to medical support.


From the collected data, it will be easier to come up with a vaccine for this virus. We can see that these transmission rates are much like the Swine flu (H1N1) transmission rates that we encountered a couple of years back. Although much more research needs to be done, we are now one step closer to defeating Ebola.